wrigley stands crowdThose poor Pirates.

A day after getting rocked by Jake Arrieta, pushing them under .500 for the first time in two months, now they have to face Jon Lester. Good luck.

Well, I mean, I’m not actually wishing the Pirates good luck. It’s just an expression.

The Cubs will also face a Jon – how about that? – but of the less-heralded, and less-intimidating Niese variety.

 

The former Met, who was acquired in a cost-saving move for Neil Walker (who’s gone on to post a 129 wRC+ for the Mets this year), has some very ugly numbers this year for the Pirates, as you’ll see below. He’s been especially susceptible to righties this year, who are collectively hitting .301/.358/.530 off of him. Naturally, he’ll face several good ones today.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (45-20) at Pittsburgh Pirates (33-34), 7:15 CT on FOX, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jon Lester (R): 1.89 ERA, 2.84 FIP, 3.18 xFIP; 5.00 K/BB

versus

Pirates: Jon Niese (L): 4.60 ERA, 5.20 FIP, 4.24 xFIP; 2.16 K/BB



Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup:

1. Jordy Mercer, SS

2. Josh Harrison, 2B

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Jung-Ho Kang, 3B

5. David Freese, 1B

6. Matt Joyce, LF

7. Sean Rodriguez, RF

8. Erik Kratz, C

9. Jon Niese, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Dexter Fowler, 1B

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Kris Bryant, LF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B

6. Javy Baez, 3B

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. David Ross, C

9. Jon Lester, P


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