Chicago Cubs: Previewing the home opener series with Rum Bunter

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs open their home slate Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, looking to turn around what has been a disappointing start to the season.

After nine consecutive road games to open the 2019 campaign, the Chicago Cubs finally return to Wrigley Field on Monday to open their first homestand of the year. Coming off a series in which they dropped two of three to the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago is looking to pick up their first series win.

The Cubs have the guy they want (and need) on the bump in Monday’s series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Jon Lester. The veteran southpaw has been the only starter to turn in multiple strong starts this year. In each of his two outings, he allowed a pair of runs over six innings, respectively.

Chicago (2-7) ranks second in terms of batting average (.294) and fourth in OPS (.878) entering play Monday, but a pitching staff that has been largely ineffective has crippled the team in the season’s first week-plus of action. The Cubs’ 1.99 WHIP is the worst in all of Major League Baseball, as is their unsightly 7.51 earned run average.

They’ll hope to get back on track against the Pirates, a team that comes to Wrigley Field in second in the National League Central. The team’s pitching has been particularly solid this season, coming in with a 2.76 ERA – tops amongst NL ballclubs.

So, to get ready for the home opener and the rest of the series, we chatted with Rum Bunter, the FanSided site dedicated to covering the Pittsburgh Pirates.