So the All-Star Game is in the books and the unofficial second half of the season is underway. The Cubs sit at 47-43, good for a half-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central. It’s been an overall disappointing season for Chicago so far, especially the last six weeks of mediocre baseball. Consistent performances have been lacking all the way around.
This isn’t the first time we’ve said that, though, and the second half has been the Cubs’ time to shine in the Joe Maddon era. Since 2015, Chicago has a 189-103 record after the break and another big stretch run will be crucial.
That push begins with three games against the Pirates at Wrigley Field. After their own bad start, Pittsburgh is playing much better, including taking three of four from the Cubs to start the month. Josh Bell was unstoppable in that series and he’ll be looking to continue his All-Star season against a team he always seems to beat up on.
Tensions ran high on July 4 as Maddon confronted Pirates manager Clint Hurdle over repeated brush back pitches to Chicago batters. Theatrics aside, the Cubs need to start winning series to make sure they reach their fifth straight postseason. A long homestand is the best place to start, so let’s see if it will happen.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, July 12 at 1:20pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network (out-of-market)
- Saturday, July 13 at 1:20pm CT on WGN
- Sunday, July 14 at 1:20pm CT on ABC-7
What to Watch For
- Robel Garcia has been very impressive so far with three extra-base hits in his first three games. Look for him to get a lot of playing time this series.
- Adam Frazier was red hot against the Cubs earlier this month, but two left-handed pitchers going for Chicago should keep him on the bench those days.
- Kris Bryant is hitting .429 in July with four doubles and a home run.
- Quintana has allowed just three runs over 13 innings in his last two starts, both Cubs victories.