That joke in the title is a bit of a stretch. /dadjokes
The Pirates have been a hot and cold team this year, but they've been cold lately. After climbing to 58-58, they've been 5-10 in their last 15 with many of those games being non-competitive. Furthermore, the Cubs miss both Cole and Taillon, instead getting the pitchers on the team that are…not great (and they haven't been that great either this year). The Pirates are a bad team, worse than their record indicates, and the Cubs should absolutely crush them. Problem is, the Cubs aren't all that great right now either. If they find some consistency on offense, they'll be good. If they can find some competent relief pitching, they'll be even better.
- OBP: Kris Bryant (.404) (up 4 points from last series)
- ISO: Ian Happ (.266) (up 4 points from last series)
- HR: Anthony Rizzo (30) (up 2)
- R+RBI: Rizzo (171) (up 10)
- wRC+: Bryant (143) (up 2)
- BSR: Javier Baez (3.0) (no change)
- SP K/9: Jose Quntana (10.37) (up 77 centistrikeouts)
- SP BB/9: Jon Lester (2.79) (no change)
- SP FIP: Lester (3.78) (down 1)
- RP K/9: Carl Edwards Jr (13.07) (up 1 decistrikeout)
- RP BB/9: Brian Duensing (2.24) (down 5 centiwalks)
- RP FIP: Duensing (3.13) (no change)
- WAR: Bryant (4.9) (up 3 centiwins)
- OBP: McCutchen (.372)
- ISO: Josh Bell (.230)
- HR: McCutchen (23)
- R+RBI: McCutchen (152)
- wRC+: McCutchen (126)
- BSR: Ser Gregor of House Polanco (2.6)
- SP K/9: Jameson Taillon (8.75)
- SP BB/9: Ivan Nova (5.92)
- Star Wars BB-8: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BB-8
- SP FIP: Taillon (3.56)
- RP K/9: Felipe Rivero (10.72)
- RP BB/9: Wade LeBlanc (2.35)
- RP FIP: Rivero (2.48)
- WAR: McCutchen (3.3)
Injury News, transactions, blood pacts, etc.
Addison Russell is starting to work his way back from his foot injury, and could be back sometime next week. Lester is down with shoulder fatigue, and Willson is still out with his hamstring injury. No word on when either of those guys are returning, from last I've seen.
Literally copied and pasted from last preview.
McCutchen has been one of the worst players in baseball over the past 2 weeks, which brought his numbers down considerably. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the reason he isn't the worst over that timeframe is because David Freese is on the team (.175/.209/.300).
Monday (7:05pm): Mike Montgomery (3.43 ERA, 4.11 FIP, 102.1 IP) vs Trevor Williams (4.40 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 122.2 IP)
Tuesday (7:05pm): Jake Arrieta (3.49, 3.87, 152.0) vs Chad Kuhl (4.52, 3.99, 129.1)
Wednesday (7:05pm): Jose Quintana (a thousand, a million, too many) vs Ivan Nova (3.97, 4.39, 165.2)
Will the Cubs Win?