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Cubs start 4-game series with the Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates (19-25, third in the NL Central) vs. Chicago Cubs (25-19, second in the NL Central)

Chicago; Thursday, 7:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Pirates: Jared Jones (2-4, 2.68 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 56 strikeouts); Cubs: Justin Steele (0-0, 4.73 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 11 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Cubs -138, Pirates +117; over/under is 7 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Chicago Cubs open a four-game series at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.

Chicago has a 25-19 record overall and a 13-6 record at home. The Cubs have hit 46 total home runs to rank fifth in the NL.

Pittsburgh has a 10-13 record on the road and a 19-25 record overall. The Pirates are ninth in the NL with 40 total home runs, averaging 0.9 per game.

Thursday's game is the fourth time these teams match up this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Christopher Morel leads Chicago with nine home runs while slugging .417. Cody Bellinger is 12-for-34 with two home runs and four RBI over the last 10 games.

Connor Joe has six home runs, 14 walks and 22 RBI while hitting .286 for the Pirates. Oneil Cruz is 13-for-37 with five doubles, three home runs and eight RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Cubs: 5-5, .238 batting average, 3.07 ERA, outscored opponents by two runs

Pirates: 4-6, .222 batting average, 5.36 ERA, outscored by 17 runs

INJURIES: Cubs: Keegan Thompson: 15-Day IL (illness), Nico Hoerner: day-to-day (hamstring), Adbert Alzolay: 15-Day IL (forearm), Yency Almonte: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Dansby Swanson: 10-Day IL (knee), Daniel Palencia: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Jordan Wicks: 15-Day IL (forearm), Drew Smyly: 15-Day IL (hip), Julian Merryweather: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Caleb Kilian: 60-Day IL (shoulder)

Pirates: Ke'Bryan Hayes: 10-Day IL (back), Jason Delay: 60-Day IL (knee), Marco Gonzales: 15-Day IL (forearm), Ryan Borucki: 15-Day IL (left triceps inflammation), Dauri Moreta: 60-Day IL (elbow), Endy Rodriguez: 60-Day IL (elbow), Johan Oviedo: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.