Cubs vs. Pirates – Series Preview (Apr 14-16): TV and Game Info, Pitching Matchups, Insights
After the hoopla surrounding the Cubs home-opening series against the Dodgers, things return to normal this weekend as the Pittsburgh Pirates come to Wrigley Field. The Cubs have posted a very respectable 6-3 record in their first nine games — winning all three series — and they’re looking to keep the momentum rolling.
The Pirates, meanwhile, have stumbled to 3-6 start to their season. The main contributor is their pitching, as the Bucs have allowed 5.2 runs per game in their first nine games. Ace Gerrit Cole has an unsightly 6.55 ERA (6.23 FIP) in his two starts in 2017.
The Cubs throttled their division rivals last season to the tune of 14-4 (8-1 in Chicago) overall record. The Pirates’ inability to beat the Northsiders all but ended their playoff chances last year. Expect the Bucs to be fired up to try and get revenge on the defending champs.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, April 14 at 1:20 CT on WGN and MLB Network
- Saturday, April 15 at 1:20 CT on CSN Chicago
- Sunday, April 16 at 1:20 CT on WGN
What To Watch For
- There was a lot of drama revolving around Starling Marte replacing Andrew McCutchen in centerfield heading into the season. McCutchen is off to a sluggish start (although he homered Thursday).
- Anthony Rizzo has started to heat up recently, going 5-for-12 (.416 BA) with a homer against the Dodgers. Facing three right-handed starters will help.
- Speaking of three right-handed starters being advantageous, Jason Heyward is off to a better start in 2017 (.290 BA, .353 OBP). It would be nice to see J-Hey continue to make solid contact.
- Jake Arrieta has had two dominant starts so far in 2017 and has been more efficient than we saw at times last year. More efforts like that will get the free agent-to-be paid this winter.