Major League Baseball
Preview
Pittsburgh at Chi. Cubs
When: 8:05 PM ET, Monday, August 29, 2016
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

The Pittsburgh Pirates have surged into the thick of the National League wild-card race and will try to maintain that momentum when they begin a three-game road series against the majors’ best team on Monday. The Pirates have won four straight overall and eight in a row on the road heading into their clash with the Chicago Cubs, who hold a 14-game lead in the NL Central.



Chicago is beginning a seven-game stretch at home, where it has won four straight and 12 of its last 14, while the Pirates have outscored opponents 49-28 during their eight-game road winning streak. The Cubs have dominated the season series, claiming nine of 12 meetings - including five of six at Wrigley Field. Rookie Steven Brault will get the call to make a spot start for the Pirates in place of ace Gerrit Cole and face off against Jake Arrieta. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, Arrieta is 24-10 with a 2.05 ERA all-time at Wrigley Field.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh), CSN Chicago



PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates LH Steven Brault (0-1, 3.60 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Jake Arrieta (16-5, 2.62)

Brault will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to make a spot start for the third time this season. The 24-year-old’s last big-league turn was on July 29 at Milwaukee, and he suffered a tough-luck loss despite allowing three runs over six innings. Brault struggled in his last two minor-league outings, allowing 10 runs - nine earned - over 6 1/3 frames.

Arrieta has enjoyed a productive month, going 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four starts. The 30-year-old twice has worked eight scoreless innings over that stretch, including last time out at San Diego as he gave up two hits and three walks while striking out six. Arrieta is 9-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 13 starts against the Pirates, including a 3-1 record and 2.67 ERA in four meetings this season.



WALK-OFFS

1. Cubs 3B/OF Kris Bryant is 20-for-41 with seven homers during his 10-game hitting streak while OF Jason Heyward is 9-for-27 during his seven-game run.

2. Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen, a career .315 hitter versus the Cubs, is 9-for-22 with two doubles and a homer during his six-game hitting streak.

3. The Cubs are 75-1 when leading after eight innings.



PREDICTION: Cubs 6, Pirates 2


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Pittsburgh 67-61 W4 34-30 33-31 11-15 25-24 22-11 9-11
Chi. Cubs 82-47 L2 45-19 37-28 19-14 34-16 16-13 13-4
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh Chi. Cubs
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/10/16 CHC 6 PIT 5 .212 2 .695 .375 1 .955
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Pittsburgh A. McCutchen .327 16 1.023
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo .532 25 1.717
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Pittsburgh A. McCutchen 4 7 12
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo 5 15 14
Pitching ERA Avg K
Pittsburgh 6.20 .226 88
Chi. Cubs 3.65 .300 123
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Pittsburgh S. Marte .307 140 .813
Chi. Cubs K. Bryant .305 149 .986
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Pittsburgh G. Polanco 20 69 76
Chi. Cubs K. Bryant 35 107 89
Pitching ERA Avg K
Pittsburgh 4.08 .256 956
Chi. Cubs 3.09 .258 1148