Series Preview: Pirates at Cubs, September 24 - September 27th, 2018

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Series Preview: Pirates at Cubs, September 24 – September 27th, 2018

Chicago Cubs

Well, the Cubs are onto their second-to-last series of the season, this one against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and they could technically clinch before the series is up. It’ll take a combination of 5 Cubs’wins and Brewers losses, but it could happen.

Of course, if it were up to me, the Cubs would clinch on Social Media night this Thursday, when Brett, Luis, and I will all be at Wrigley Field, but I’m not picky. And it’s not like clinching in front of the Cardinals again would be much of a loss …

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (91-64) took two of three from the White Sox and have actually won 7 of their past 10 (when did that happen?!). They’re rolling on a two-game winning streak with a magic number of 5.

The Pittsburgh Pirates (78-76) just dropped two of three to the Brewers (thanks for almost nothing, jerks), but have also won 7 of their past 10. They also always seem to play up against the Cubs, so let’s hope they forgot how to win or something, because they are trotting out some very good starting pitchers in this series.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Monday, September 24th at 7:05 CT on CSNC, 670 The Score
  • Tuesday, September 25th at 7:05 CT on WGN, MLBN, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, September 26th at 7:05 CT on CSNC, 670 The Score
  • Thursday, September 27th at 7:05 CT on CSNC, MLBN, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Cole Hamels (3.90 ERA, 4.57 FIP; 2.84 K/BB)
  • Mike Montgomery (3.75 ERA, 3.90 FIP; 2.16 K/BB)
  • Jose Quintana (4.11 ERA, 4.44 FIP; 2.21 K/BB)
  • Jon Lester (3.43 ERA, 4.40 FIP; 2.43 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Daniel Murphy
  • 3B – Kris Bryant/David Bote
  • SS – Javy Baez
  • LF – Kris Bryant/Ben Zobrist
  • CF – Ian Happ/Albert Almora
  • RF – Ben Zobrist/Kris Bryant/Jason Heyward

Unavailable: Yu Darvish, Justin Hancock, Brandon Morrow, Drew Smyly, Mark Zagunis, Addison Russell, Pedro Strop

Pittsburgh Pirates

Probable Pitchers:

  • Jameson Taillon (3.24 ERA, 3.42 FIP; 3.88 K/BB)
  • Chris Archer (4.49 ERA, 3.84 FIP; 3.63 K/BB)
  • Ivan Nova (4.01 ERA, 4.52 FIP; 3.36 K/BB)
  • Trevor Williams (3.06 ERA, 3.87 FIP; 2.35 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Francisco Cervelli
  • 1B – Josh Bell
  • 2B – Adam Frazier
  • 3B – Colin Moran
  • SS – Jordy Mercer
  • LF – Corey Dickerson
  • CF – Starling Marte
  • RF – Pablo Reyes

Unavailable: Chad Kuhl, Gregory Polanco

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Cole Hamels had the first bad start of his Cubs career his last time out (and against a Spring-Training-style Arizona Diamondbacks lineup to boot). It sure would be comforting if he got right back on track with another dominant outing tonight, because he’s going to be critical to the Cubs’ chances in October, especially with Pedro Strop (possibly) and Brandon Morrow out.

Cubs Player: Kris Bryant sat out last night and could sit out again today (shoulder fatigue). Given how important he is to the Cubs’ chances in October, I am desperate to see him out there before the end of the series.

Pirates Pitcher: Jameson Taillon has had a pretty monster season by his standards (3.24 ERA, 3.5 fWAR) and has all the right peripherals to back things up. He’ll be a tough matchup tonight, especially for whichever righties end up in the lineup, so let’s hope the lefties get things done.

Pirates Player: Josh Bell has been hitting out of his mind over the last 14 days (.378/.451/.556), so pitcher beware. I just can’t stand the idea of the Cardinals and Pirates preventing the Cubs from finishing what needs to be done. But Bell has the sort of bat that could be a problem.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami