Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

pirates parrotWanna know something crazy? The last time the Cubs played the Pirates was more than two months ago.

Wanna know something crazier? The last time the Cubs played the Pirates, they had just completed a four-game sweep. Just like now.

You wonder what happened in that Pirates series, eh? Well, the Cubs took two of three, and the first game in the series featured my favorite ending of the season so far.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs finally managed to lay the wood to a team they were supposed to beat, sweeping the Brewers in four. That makes six wins in seven games since the Cubs were swept by the Phillies last weekend.

The Pirates got swept by those same Brewers coming out of the All-Star break, but have won 8 of 13 since then. They still hold the top Wild Card spot in the NL (4.0 games ahead of the Cubs), and they stand 5.5 games behind the Cardinals in the Central.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, August 3 at 6:05 CT on CSN, ESPN.
  • Tuesday, August 4 at 6:05 CT on WGN-9.
  • Wednesday, August 5 at 6:05 CT on CSN.

And, if you’re not in the blackout region, you can always watch on

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.


Starters: Jon Lester (3.26 ERA, 2.92 FIP; 4.25 K/BB), Jake Arrieta (2.62 ERA, 2.61 FIP; 4.32 K/BB), Dan Haren (3.42 ERA, 4.58 FIP; 3.52 K/BB)

Lineup (probably gonna be changing frequently):

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kyle Schwarber, C/LF
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Jorge Soler, RF
  6. Chris Coghlan, LF/RF
  7. Starlin Castro, SS
  8. Pitcher
  9. Addison Russell, 2B


Starters: Francisco Liriano (2.92 ERA, 2.94 FIP; 3.33), J.A. Happ (4.64 ERA, 4.07 FIP; 2.56 K/BB), Jeff Locke (4.21 ERA, 3.74 FIP; 2.00 K/BB)


  1. Gregory Polanco, RF
  2. Starling Marte, LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Jung-Ho Kang, SS
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Francisco Cervelli, C
  7. Pedro Alvarez, 1B
  8. Sean Rodriguez, 3B (Aramis Ramirez will start some, too, but higher in the order)
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

The Cubs luck out to miss Gerrit Cole in this one, and also get to send both Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester out there (as well as in the next series against the Giants).

A couple of deadline acquisitions will make their new team debuts in this one, with Dan Haren starting on Wednesday and J.A. Happ starting on Tuesday.

Speaking of Happ, he’s one of three lefty starters the Cubs will face in this one, so hopefully the righty bats are ready to go.

In seven games with his new old team, Aramis Ramirez is hitting just .133/.133/.200.

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