The Pittsburgh Pirates (40-56) are on the road in Chicago for a quick two-game series against the National League Central rival Cubs (38-57). The last time these two teams met, Pittsburgh took three out of four at PNC Park last month.
At 8:05 p.m. ET in Chicago, the time of first pitch, the weather is expected to be a bit cooler with temperatures in the low-70s and cloudy with winds of 10-15 mph blowing north-northeast.
JT Brubaker (2-8, 4.02 ERA) will get the start for the Pirates. Brubaker will be opposite former Pirates’ prospect Adrian Sampson (0-1, 3.34 ERA).
This is the first start after the break for Brubaker, who pitched seven scoreless innings against the Marlins his last time out. In 16 starts since April 19, the right-hander has posted a 3.53 ERA/3.56 FIP with 90 strikeouts in 86.2 innings. With a strong performance, Brubaker can lower his ERA to under the 4.00 mark for the first time this season.
Sampson has made seven appearances (five starts) for the Cubs this season. He’s been effective as evident by his 3.34 ERA/3.64 FIP and has limited opponents to just a .651 OPS.
The Cubs are opening as favorites at -154, with the Pirates’ odds at +130. The Pirates’ run line of +1.5 sits at -176, while the Cubs’ line of 1.5 can be had at +142. The game’s over/under is set at 8.5.
Who’s Hot/Who’s Not?
Who’s Hot: Wil Crowe. In nine appearances in July, Crowe has posted a 2.16 ERA in 8.1 innings of relief and has bounced back nicely after a couple rough outings at the end of June.
Who’s Not: Michael Chavis. Despite a three-hit game in Colorado the last day before the All-Star break, Chavis is hitting just .182 (8 for 44) with a .518 OPS in his last 15 games. Over that stretch, Chavis has struck out 13 times and drawn only one walk.
- In eight career games (seven starts) against the Cubs, Brubaker is 3-2 with a 2.87 ERA and has struck out 45 batters in 37.2 innings. His three wins against Chicago are the most he’s had against any team, and the ERA represents his lowest against an opponent he has faced multiple times.
- Jason Delay is on a four-game hitting streak and has picked up at least one base hit in eight of his last nine games with the Pirates. In those nine games, Delay is batting .423 with two doubles and a home run.
- In his last two games, Yoshi Tsutsugo has driven in three runs. Those three RBIs are his first since driving in one run in four straight games from May 20-23. Tsutsugo, who has struggled at the plate throughout the season, is looking to help fill the void left in the lineup after the trade of Daniel Vogelbach.
Around The Network
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Here’s a Killer Idea: Use Kapanen in Shorthanded Role
Pirates Prospects: Williams: Here’s What I’m Watching in the Pirates System in the Second Half
Pittsburgh Sports Now: Die-Hards: Updating Papa Kante’s Recruitment
Nittany Sports Now: PENN STATE IN FINAL 4 FOR 2023 EDGE DYLAN GOODEN