The Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates will return to action with a three-game NL Central series starting Friday afternoon from Wrigley Field. The Pirates will send 30-year-old right-hander Chris Archer to the hill, and the Cubs will counter with 32-year-old right-hander Yu Darvish. The Pirates lead the seasons series 4-3, and they only trail the Cubs by 2.5 games for the top spot in the NL Central.
Archer Allows Two Homers in No Decision vs Cubs
The Pirates will have Chris Archer take the mound for the 16th time of the season as he seeks his first win since early June. Archer just saw the Cubs in his latest start earlier this month and he conceded three runs in five innings in a start that concluded with a no-decision in a 6-5 Pirates’ win. The seven-year veteran right-hander is having an inconsistent season, and he holds a weak 5.49 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP accompanied with a 3-6 record in 78.2 innings of work. Overall, Archer has experienced success against the Cubs in his career, sporting a 2.79 ERA and a 2-1 record in five starts. Anthony Rizzo is 2 for 11 against Archer, while Javier Baez is 7 for 12, and Kris Bryant is 1 for 4.
Things we know:
— Pirates (@Pirates) July 7, 2019
Pirates’ star Josh Bell has accumulated more RBI’s against the Cubs than any other team this season, collecting 12 RBI’s along with four home runs in 26 at-bats. The third-year slugger is having a dazzling season, posting a .302 average with 27 home runs and 84 RBI’s. Bell is one of the hottest hitters in the Majors right now, notching 14 RBI’s on the month.
The Pirates are scoring an average of 4.85 runs per game, ranking them 16th in the Major Leagues. The Pittsburgh pitching staff holds a 4.91 team ERA, positioning them at 23rd in the big leagues. The Pirates hold a 22-24 road record on the season.
Darvish Searching for First Win Since Late April
Yu Darvish will get the nod for the 19th time of the season. Darvish is looking to have a strong second half after a poor first half. Darvish battled the Pirates in his latest effort and he was shaky, squandering four runs including two home runs in 6.2 innings, leading to the no-decision. The veteran right-hander is having trouble with home runs, and he owns a weak 5.01 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP paired with a 2-4 record in 97 innings pitched on the year. Darvish has fared well over his four career starts against the Pirates, filing a 3.75 ERA to go with a 1-2 record. Josh Bell is 2 for 5 against Darvish, while Starling Marte is 4 for 8, and Corey Dickerson is 4 for 10.
Some of Chicago’s best improv can be found at Wrigley Field. #EverybodyIn
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 10, 2019
Kris Bryant is swinging a hot bat, sporting a .429 average with three RBI’s this month after hitting .300 in June. The 27-year-old third baseman is having another quality season, registering a .297 average with 17 homers and 44 RBI’s. Bryant is a solid 8 for 24 with three RBI’s against the Pirates this season.
The Cubs potent lineup stands 12th in the Major Leagues with an average of 5.06 runs on the season. The Chicago pitching staff possesses a 4.09 team ERA, positioning them eighth in the Majors. The Cubs own a 29-16 record at Wrigley Field.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- 4-0 in Archer’s last 4 starts.
- 8-3 in their last 11 games following a win.
- 5-1 in their last 6 games against a right-handed starter.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 1-4 in Darvish’ last 5 starts.
- 1-4 in Darvish’ last 5 starts against a team with a losing record.
- 3-13 in their last 16 games against a starter with a WHIP above 1.30.