The Pirates got off to a hot start with a sweep of the awful Tigers in Detroit. They also split a series with the Twins and won two of three from the Reds, all at home. After trading their top two players in the offseason (both probably a year too late), expectations are pretty low.
I'm still using the teams' 2017 numbers here instead. The Pirates trading their two best players in the offseason made things slightly more difficult. Their offense was pretty bottom of the barrel last year and it might be even worse without Cutch.
- OBP: Kris Bryant (.409)
- ISO: Ian Happ (.261)
- HR: Anthony Rizzo (32)
- R+RBI: Rizzo (208)
- wRC+: Bryant (146)
- BSR: Bryant (4.8)
- Defense: Willson Contereras (12.8)
- SP K/9: Jose Quintana (10.46)
- SP BB/9: Quintana (2.24)
- SP FIP: Quintana (3.25)
- RP FIP: Carl Edwards Jr (12.75)
- RP BB/9: Brandon Morrow (1.85)
- RP FIP: Morrow (1.55)
- WAR: Bryant (6.7)
- OBP: David Freese (.368)
- ISO: Josh Bell (.211)
- HR: Josh Bell (26)
- R+RBI: Bell (165)
- wRC+: Corey Dickerson (115)
- BSR: Gregory Polanco (3.0)
- Defense: Freese (6.2)
- SP K/9: Jameson Taillon (8.42)
- SP BB/9: Ivan Nova (1.73)
- SP FIP: Taillon (3.48)
- RP K/9: Felipe Rivero (10.91)
- RP BB/9: Rivero (2.39)
- RP FIP: Rivero (2.47)
- WAR: Taillon (2.9)
Injuries, transactions, vengenace pacts, etc.
See the Pirates NL Central whiparound for more details, or don't. I can't tell you what to do. Gregory Polanco is dealing with a minor foot injury that kept him out on Saturday, and Jordy Mercer is dealing with a jammed finger.
Anthony Rizzo missed the last three games of the Brewers series with a stiff back. At first it sounded like a flareup of the usual stiffness we've seen once or twice this season, but after it lingered for a few days it seems like it could be more serious. It looks like he'll miss the home opener.
Projected K/9, BB/9, ERA listed for each pitcher.
Monday: Ivan Nova, RHP (6.62, 1.95, 4.13) vs Tyler Chatwood, RHP (7.28, 4.34, 4.34), 1:20 PM CT
Nova is off to an un-Nova like start to the season, walking three in his first start and getting knocked around for five runs in his second. Chatwood, on the other hand, had an extremely Chatwood start in his lone outing. He walked six, but got a ton of ground balls and allowed just one run in six innings.
Wednesday: Steven Brault, LHP (7.39, 3.92, 4.53) vs Jon Lester, LHP (8.90, 2.59, 3.58), 7:05 PM CT
Brault had solid numbers in AAA for the last two years, but has been rocked in the majors. He's filling in for the injured Joe Musgrove. and managed to pick up a win against the Reds in his last time out. He went five innings and allowed just one run, but walked four and let loose a couple of wild pitches.
Lester had a great bounceback from his shaky opening day start, throwing six scoreless innings and even picking off Ryan Braun. He also put himself on the map for whenever the Cubs decide to have another bunting contest. As dumb as I found it at the time, I actually think it would be kind of useful now considering how prevalent shifting is now.
Thursday: Trevor Williams, RHP (6.56, 3.09, 4.58) vs Kyle Hendricks, RHP (7.78, 2.32, 3.66), 1:20 PM CT
Cyle was the only Cubs starer with a solid start the first time through the rotation, and the reverse was true in the Brewers series. He had a tough time dealing with the tight zone that day and the Brewers started squaring him up.
Williams was also knocked around in his last start, giving up 10 hits in 5+ innings but limiting the damage to just two runs. He threw six scoreless in his first start, but walked five.