There's no ambiguity about the probable pitchers right now, but with the Cubs rumored to be thinking about trading anyone and everyone, there's no guarantee that the matchups will stay the same. Nevertheless, for now it's clear that the Monday game will feature Jeff Samardzija and Erik Bedard. On Tuesday (7:05), veteran lefty Paul Maholm returns to face his old team, who will be led by James McDonald. On Wednesday (12:35), it's Ryan Dempster and Kevin Correia.
The Cubs are coming off a series in which they were outscored 23-1 by the Cardinals. They're dead last in baseball in runs scored, with 347, and their pitching has been only a bit more productive, getting no help from one of the worst bullpens in the game. Dempster is having a great season, and Samardzija and Wood are both good enough to keep the Cubs in games, but hopefully the Pirates will be able to continue their roll against a floundering team.