Pittsburgh faces off against Chicago in division matchup
Pittsburgh Pirates (65-83, fifth in the NL Central) vs. Chicago Cubs (79-68, second in the NL Central)
Chicago; Saturday, 2 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Pirates: James Marvel (0-1, 3.60 ERA) Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (10-9, 3.33 ERA)
BOTTOM LINE: Division rivals Chicago and Pittsburgh will play on Saturday.
The Cubs are 32-29 against opponents from the NL Central. Chicago has hit 233 home runs this season, seventh in the majors. Kyle Schwarber leads the club with 35, averaging one every 13.7 at-bats.
The Pirates have gone 25-40 against division opponents. The Pittsburgh offense has compiled a .267 batting average as a team this season, good for first in the National League. Bryan Reynolds leads the team with a a mark of .325. The Cubs won the last meeting 17-8. Jon Lester earned his 13th victory and Willson Contreras went 3-for-4 with two home runs and two RBIs for Chicago. Steven Brault took his fifth loss for Pittsburgh.
TOP PERFORMERS: Nicholas Castellanos leads the Cubs with 165 hits and has 67 RBIs. Jason Heyward is 10-for-29 with three doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs over the last 10 games for Chicago.
Starling Marte leads the Pirates with 159 hits and has 82 RBIs. Josh Bell is 7-for-27 with two home runs and six RBIs over the last 10 games for Pittsburgh.
LAST 10 GAMES: Cubs: 5-5, .258 batting average, 4.03 ERA, outscored opponents by 15 runs
Pirates: 5-5, .263 batting average, 5.93 ERA, outscored by 11 runs
Cubs Injuries: Allen Webster: (hand), Brandon Morrow: (elbow), Craig Kimbrel: (elbow), Kendall Graveman: (elbow), Xavier Cedeno: (wrist), Addison Russell: (head), Javier Baez: (thumb).
Pirates Injuries: Jameson Taillon: (elbow), Chris Stratton: (torso), Edgar Santana: (elbow), Chad Kuhl: (elbow), Kyle Crick: (finger), Nick Burdi: (biceps), Chris Archer: (shoulder), Gregory Polanco: (shoulder), Jason Martin: (shoulder), Starling Marte: (wrist), Lonnie Chisenhall: (finger), Josh Bell: (hamstring).