Cubs vs Pirates Series Preview (April 21-24): TV and Game Info, Starting Pitcher, Insights

The Cubs (6-6) began a difficult three-week stretch of games against playoff contenders by dropping two of three to a talented Rays team at home. Wednesday’s loss was a cold and rainy affair that was called after six innings. Now Chicago welcomes the Pittsburgh Pirates to Wrigley Field for four games starting Thursday in what should be much better weather.

The Pirates (5-7) started out well but they were just swept by the Brewers and are one of the worst teams in the league on paper. Phenom third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes has been very good through the first 12 games of the season and Cubs minor-league legend Daniel Vogelbach has a .924 OPS out of the gate.

The Bucs’ starting pitching has been a nightmare so far in 2022, however, having allowed 36 runs in just 51 innings (6.35 ERA). The bullpen, on the other hand, has been solid with just 22 runs surrendered in 52 innings (3.81 ERA).

While the Cubs offense has been performing well to begin the season, they have starting pitching woes of their own. Marcus Stroman and Kyle Hendricks have struggled in the early going and the overall starters’ ERA sits at 6.15, a number that will have to improve if they want to stay in contention.

After this series, the next 14 games are against squads with serious playoff aspirations. David Ross and crew are going to have to significantly step up their game if they want to stay above water over the next couple weeks. A good way to make that task a bit easier is to beat up on this rebuilding Pittsburgh side.

Struggle with the Pirates this weekend and things may start to go downhill quickly. Let’s avoid that, shall we?

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Thursday, April 21 at 6:40pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee Sports Network
  • Friday, April 22 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee Sports Network
  • Saturday, April 23 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee Sports Network
  • Sunday, April 24 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee Sports Network

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
4/21 Mark Leiter Jr. 31 R 18.90 0-1 8.15 1.00
Bryse Wilson 24 R 5.40 0-0 6.65 1.00
4/22 Drew Smyly 32 L 0.00 1-0 2.33 5.00
José Quintana 33 L 3.86 0-1 4.98 1.00
4/23 Kyle Hendricks 32 R 6.08 0-1 3.73 1.89
Zach Thompson 28 R 9.00 0-1 6.18 1.60
4/24 Justin Steele 26 L 4.50 1-1 3.97 1.67
JT Brubaker 28 R 7.30 0-2 5.24 1.44

What to Watch For

  • Seiya Suzuki actually saw his batting average drop below .400, I guess the Cubs will have to make do with his 1.404 OPS.
  • Patrick Wisdom homered twice against the Rays as he continues to stay hot.
  • Keegan Thompson has been outstanding in 9.2 scoreless innings of long relief.
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