Chicago hosts Pittsburgh in division play
Pittsburgh Pirates (44-46, fourth in the NL Central) vs. Chicago Cubs (48-43, first in the NL Central)
Chicago; Saturday, 2 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Pirates: Jordan Lyles (5-5, 4.36 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 78 strikeouts) Cubs: Jon Lester (8-6, 3.72 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 93 strikeouts)
LINE: Cubs favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 7 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Chicago will host Pittsburgh in a matchup of division rivals.
The Cubs are 16-16 against the rest of their division. Chicago has hit 141 home runs this season, ninth in the National League. Javier Baez leads the team with 22, averaging one every 16.4 at-bats.
The Pirates are 18-19 against NL Central Division opponents. Pittsburgh ranks third in the league in hitting with a .270 batting average, Bryan Reynolds leads the club with an average of .344. The Cubs won the last meeting 4-3. Randy Rosario notched his first victory and Kris Bryant went 1-for-3 with a home run and an RBI for Chicago. Kyle Crick took his fifth loss for Pittsburgh.
TOP PERFORMERS: Baez leads the Cubs with 48 extra base hits and is slugging .553. Bryant has 14 hits and is batting .412 over the last 10 games for Chicago.
Josh Bell leads the Pirates with 60 extra base hits and has 84 RBIs. Starling Marte is 13-for-41 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and nine RBIs over the last 10 games for Pittsburgh.
LAST 10 GAMES: Cubs: 4-6, .257 batting average, 5.42 ERA, outscored by seven runs
Pirates: 5-5, .303 batting average, 4.60 ERA, outscored opponents by 16 runs
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).
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), Steven Brault: 10-day IL (shoulder), Gregory Polanco: 10-day IL (shoulder), Corey Dickerson: day-to-day (groin), Lonnie Chisenhall: 60-day IL (finger), Erik Gonzalez: 60-day IL (collarbone), Francisco Cervelli: 10-day IL (concussion).