Although the first home series of the year against Pittsburgh is starting a day later, it’s still a great time for Cubs fans to get excited for the season to officially start with Opening Day for the Cubs! After going 5-4 on the 9-game road stretch to start the season, the Cubs will gladly take those numbers.
Cubs (5-4), Second in NL Central
Pirates (7-2), First in NL Central
The Game Times & Broadcast Info
4/10: Cubs vs. Pirates 1:20 PM CT on ABC 7, MLB Network (Out of Market), 670 The Score
4/11: Cubs vs. Pirates 7:05 PM CT on WGN, 670 The Score
4/12: Cubs vs. Pirates 1:20 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (Out of Market), 670 The Score
The Pitching Matchups
4/10: Tyler Chatwood (CHC) vs. Ivan Nova (PIT)
4/11: Jon Lester (CHC) vs. Steven Brault (PIT)
4/12: Kyle Hendricks (CHC) vs. Trevor Williams (PIT)
The Probable Lineups
1: Ian Happ, CF
2: Kris Bryant, 3B
3: Ben Zobrist, 1B
4: Willson Contreras, C
5: Kyle Schwarber, LF
6: Addison Russell, SS
7: Jason Heyward, RF
8: Javy Baez, 2B
1: Josh Harrison, 2B
2: Gregory Polanco, RF
3: Starling Marte, CF
4: Josh Bell, 1B
5: Corey Dickerson, LF
6: Francisco Cervelli, C
7: Colin Moran, 3B
8: Jordy Mercer, SS
The Players to Watch For
Josh Harrison (PIT): Harrison at the age of 30 is still dominating for the Pirates with a .342 batting average and .409 on-base percentage in all 9 games this season. He hasn’t batted under .250 in the last five seasons and is no doubt Pittsburgh’s best offensive player now without Andrew McCutchen. Harrison has always played well against the Cubs every year and he will have to face a few newer names like Tyler Chatwood and Kyle Hendricks in this series. He has only played against those two a few times in his career.
Ben Zobrist (CHC): In a season we weren’t quite sure he would play, Ben Zobrist has been surging in the first 9 games this season. Zobrist has played in eight of them, posting a .360 batting average, .448 on-base percentage, and a .520 slugging percentage. With Anthony Rizzo likely out for the series, Zobrist may be seeing starts at first. That’s how Joe Maddon had it in the original Home Opener lineup, and it would not be surprising for Zobrist to play first on Tuesday and possibly the whole series. Victor Caratini was good, but Maddon loves to experiment around and Ben Zobrist might be the best short-term replacement.
This series could be big for the Cubs confidence early this season because the Pirates sit two games ahead in first place of the NL Central. With a series sweep, the Cubs can take back that number one spot and maintain for almost the entire season. It’s the first home series of the year for the Cubs who are in a great spot to finally breakout. This can be a fun series for Cubs fans.