Struggling Cubs look to stop 4-game skid against Pirates
Chicago Cubs (45-42, second in the NL Central) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (42-43, fourth in the NL Central)
Pittsburgh; Thursday, 4 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Cubs: Jose Quintana (5-7, 4.21 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 78 strikeouts) Pirates: Jordan Lyles (5-4, 3.71 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 71 strikeouts)
LINE: Cubs favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 9 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Chicago enters the game as losers of their last four games.
The Pirates are 16-16 against the rest of their division. Pittsburgh ranks fourth in the league in hitting with a .269 batting average, Bryan Reynolds leads the club with an average of .349.
The Cubs are 16-26 in road games. Chicago has hit 135 home runs this season, eighth in the league. Javier Baez leads the club with 22, averaging one every 15.5 at-bats.
TOP PERFORMERS: Bell leads the Pirates with 100 hits and is batting .309. Kevin Newman is 13-for-39 with two doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs over the last 10 games for Pittsburgh.
Baez leads the Cubs with 22 home runs and has 58 RBIs. Jason Heyward is 10-for-31 with a double, a triple, four home runs and 11 RBIs over the last 10 games for Chicago.
LAST 10 GAMES: Pirates: 7-3, .321 batting average, 3.54 ERA, outscored opponents by 35 runs
Cubs: 3-7, .258 batting average, 5.99 ERA, outscored by 13 runs
Pirates Injuries: Jameson Taillon: 60-day IL (elbow), Edgar Santana: 60-day IL (elbow), Chad Kuhl: 60-day IL (elbow), Keone Kela: 60-day IL (shoulder), Rookie Davis: 10-day IL (finger/forearm), Nick Burdi: 60-day IL (biceps), Gregory Polanco: 10-day IL (shoulder), Lonnie Chisenhall: 60-day IL (finger), Erik Gonzalez: 60-day IL (collarbone), Francisco Cervelli: 10-day IL (concussion).
Cubs Injuries: Allen Webster: 60-day IL (hand), Brandon Morrow: 60-day IL (elbow), Cole Hamels: 10-day IL (oblique), Kendall Graveman: 60-day IL (elbow), Carl Edwards Jr.: 10-day IL (shoulder), Xavier Cedeno: 10-day IL (wrist).