Can They Start Winning Again? Cubs at Pirates, July 1-4, 2019

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Can They Start Winning Again? Cubs at Pirates, July 1-4, 2019

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have been scuffling quite a bit lately, and haven’t won a series in *checks notes* just over two years now. Hopefully, a trip to PNC and the flip of the calendar can turn the tides, because this has been not fun.

Also, the Brewers are now tied with the Cubs for first place in the NL Central. Both teams are 45-39, which would put them FAR behind in every other division in MLB. I guess that makes the Cubs lucky?

As for the upcoming schedule, the Cubs will be in Pittsburgh this week for another four-game series (man, they’ve had a lot of these lately) before heading back to the South Side of Chicago for two games against the White Sox before the break. On-paper, these are beatable teams, but on the field, that’s what the Cubs have looked like lately, so who knows. Let’s just hope they can create a winning record over these last six-games and head into the break still in first place.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (45-39) Are just not playing good baseball right now. In fact, they were below .500 in June, which is the first time they’ve been below .500 in a full month of games since May, 2017.

The Pittsburgh Pirates (39-43) are hot right now, winning 7 of their past 10 games. With that said, two of those three losses came against the Brewers (because of course), which doesn’t help the Cubs much. Thanks, Pittsburgh.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Monday, July 1st at 6:05 CT on NBCSCH, ESPN 670 The Score
  • Tuesday, July 2nd at 6:05 CT on NBCSCH, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, July 3rd at 6:05 CT on NBCSC, 670 The Score
  • Thursday, July 4th at 3:05 CT on WGN, ESPN, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Adbert Alzolay (R) v. Trevor Williams (R)
Game 2: Kyle Hendricks (R) v. Joe Musgrove (R)
Game 3: Yu Darvish (R) v. Chris Archer (R)
Game 4: Jose Quintana (L) v. Jordan Lyles (R)

Chicago Cubs

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – David Bote/Addison Russell
  • 3B – Kris Bryant
  • SS – Javy Baez
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber
  • CF – Albert Almora Jr.
  • RF – Jason Heyward

Unavailable: Xavier Cedeno, Carl Edwards Jr., Cole Hamels, Brandon Morrow, Allen Webster, Ben Zobrist

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • C – Elias Diaz
  • 1B – Josh Bell
  • 2B – Adam Frazier
  • 3B – Colin Moran
  • SS – Kevin Newman
  • LF – Corey Dickerson
  • CF – Starling Marte
  • RF – Bryan Reynolds

Unavailable: Francisco Cervelli, Gregory Polanco

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Kyle Hendricks will have my closest eye this week, even over the second start for top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay later tonight. Although Alzolay has been good and is the more exciting pitcher to track this series, Hendricks means more to *this season* and is returning from an injury just as Cole Hamels hits the IL. It’s fairly crucial that he returns healthy and strong, so fingers crossed.

Cubs Player: Jason Heyward is the guy to watch right now. He’s been the best Cubs hitter for a MONTH and has his season-long numbers up to 116 wRC+. He’s been a revelation and a very welcomed one. I desperately hope he keeps this up … maybe for the next four years, too.

Pirates Pitcher: Chris Archer has been extremely not good this season and was removed from Friday’s start against the Brewers with left hip discomfort. The Cubs will see him on Wednesday, as of now, and he might not be at 100%.

Pirates Player: Josh Bell is in the middle of a breakout season for the Pirates, slashing .301/.376/.625 with 22 home runs and 70(!) RBI before the All-Star Break. That is … just wow. The RBI stat isn’t predictive at all, but that is a ridiculously lofty total at this time of the year. It’s hard to ignore his production. Hopefully, the Cubs keep him exactly there for at least four more days.

Author: Michael Cerami

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