Photo: Arturo Pardavila III
Pittsburgh Pirates (3-6) @ Chicago Cubs (6-3)
Kyle Hendricks (1-0, 6.00 ERA) vs Gerrit Cole (0-1, 6.55 ERA)
Time: Friday – 2:20
Gerrit Cole hasn’t been too impressive so far this season. So far this season, lefties have a .521 wOBA against him. In the newest article, I go over why he has struggled against lefties. Gerrit will go up against 5 lefties today, so if he cant find his slider today it could get ugly. Vegas is down on him, as the Cubs open as large favorites with Kyle Hendricks on the mound.
Kyle Hendricks is a command specialist. He can hit any spot of the plate with crazy movement on his sinker and changeup. Hendricks was not a big name prospect, primarily because he didn’t strike out many batters. He developed his changeup when he got to the bigs, which helped propel himself into the Cy Young talks last year as he posted a minuscule 2.13 ERA.
Vegas doesn’t like the Pirates much in this one. The Cubs open at -180, which has the Pirates at a 35% chance to win.
Jake Arrieta (2-0, 2.08 ERA) vs Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 27.00 ERA)
Time: Saturday – 2:20
The second game of the series is, without a doubt, the biggest mismatch for the Pirates. Tyler Glasnow will look to bounce back after his horrendous season debut where he walked 36% of the batters he faced. Ray Searage said that Glasnow will be coming into this game with a new delivery, which hopefully will translate to better results.
There is not much to say about Jake Arrieta other than we are screwed.
Look for the Pirates to be big dogs in this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirates odds are around +300.
Jon Lester (0-0, 1.64 ERA) vs Jameson Taillon (0-0, 1.38 ERA)
Time: Sunday – 2:20
The series finale will feature two very solid starters in Lester and Taillon. Taillon has looked impressive so far this season, but this one will likely be his biggest test yet. Taillon’s slim history with the Cubs bodes well for the opposition, as Cubs hitters have a 1.008 OPS against him in 28 AB’s. Of course, that is a very small sample,but given that he’s done so poorly, it’s something to keep an eye on.
Lester is Mr. Consistency. He rarely has a bad game and always keeps his club in it. This game might be the best chance for the Pirates to win, however. Lester has a big problem with holding runners on. He can’t throw to first base at all, so look for the Pirates to take advantage of that on the basepaths.