MLB Series Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs

MLB Series Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago Cubs

Pittsburgh Pirates
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During the first week of the MLB season the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates put on quite a show. Their first game was scoreless until a walk-off home run ended in extra innings. The next one went into the 16th inning and included a 5-man infield at one point. What sorts of treats with the Cubs and Pirates have for us this week? For certain the series will either boost the Pirates or even the teams out but which way will it be?

5 – This is a Swing Series in the National League Central

Chicago Cubs
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5 – This is a Swing Series in the National League Central

Chicago Cubs
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Neither team is leading the division but neither looks like the worst team in the division either. On the surface the Pirates look to be the clear favorites but one quick glance at last week's games will tell you these teams are fairly evenly matched going into the series. If the Pirates win the series, they will be setting themselves up to head the division. If the Cubs win the series, they will climb back into the mix.

4 – Will the Cubs Bring Their Offense?

Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
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4 – Will the Cubs Bring Their Offense?

Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
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For most of the season the Cubs have been scoring less than three runs per game so far. Sunday against the former Pirates ace A.J. Burnett, they scored eight runs. Which offense will show up this week?

3 – Can Charlie Morton Repeat Great Outing that Started His Season?

Charlie Morton Pittsburgh Pirates
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3 – Can Charlie Morton Repeat Great Outing that Started His Season?

Charlie Morton Pittsburgh Pirates
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Morton was not the most consistent starter for the Pirates in 2013 but his debut start this season was a very good one. Considering how close the games were last time these two teams met, it is a very critical question of whether he will dominate or slack off from his opening start. The first game of the series could depend on it.

2 – Will Wandy Rodriguez Step Up in Second Start?

Wandy Rodriguez Pittsburgh Pirates
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2 – Will Wandy Rodriguez Step Up in Second Start?

Wandy Rodriguez Pittsburgh Pirates
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As good as most of the Pirates starters were their first time out, Rodriguez's was not very good. This team needs him to step up not only now but for the season as well. Will he be equal to the task or fall to a very bad start to his 2014 season?

1 – The Pirates Offense Needs to Show Up This Time

Pittsburgh Pirates
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1 – The Pirates Offense Needs to Show Up This Time

Pittsburgh Pirates
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Last time these teams met the Pirates did really well in coming away with the wins they came away with. It could have been a bad start to their season if a few balls had bounced a little differently. Going into the series in Chicago, they really need their offense to step up and score some runs in support of their starters who are probably unlikely to do quite as well as they did the first time out.

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