Dream11 Fantasy Baseball: Cubs at Pirates

Dream11 Fantasy Baseball: Cubs at Pirates

This article is part of our Dream11 Fantasy Baseball series.

Chicago Cubs (22-14) at Pittsburgh Pirates (10-24)

Thursday, September 3, 1:35 PM EDT

Projected Starters

RHP Alec Mills (3-2, 5.23 ERA) vs RHP JT Brubaker (0.0, 4.50 ERA)

Game Preview

The Cubs are coming off an 8-2 win over the Pirates in Wednesday's meeting between both teams, and it's clear these two franchises are moving through opposite paths this season. While the Cubs are clear-cut contenders in the NL Central, the Pirates have shown flashes of brilliance but seem poised to be out of the playoffs as they continue their rebuilding effort. The pitching matchup for this early MLB contest will feature a duel of two righties, with Alec Mills (3-2, 5.23 ERA) for the Cubs and JT Brubaker (0-0, 4.50 ERA). That said, all signs point towards the offenses making a big impact here.

Injuries

Chicago Cubs

Corey Black - Out - Elbow

4/9 6:30 PM EST - Black announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he underwent Tommy John surgery. Black has barely pitched since 2016 as this is the third time he's undergone Tommy John surgery. The 27-year-old will be sidelined for the entire 2019 season and likely a good chunk of 2020.

Andrew Chafin - 10-Day IL - Finger

8/31 12:17 PM EST - Chafin (finger) was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Cubs on Monday in exchange for a player to be named later, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Chafin has been sidelined since Aug. 19 with a sprained left index finger, and he'll suit

Chicago Cubs (22-14) at Pittsburgh Pirates (10-24)

Thursday, September 3, 1:35 PM EDT

Projected Starters

RHP Alec Mills (3-2, 5.23 ERA) vs RHP JT Brubaker (0.0, 4.50 ERA)

Game Preview

The Cubs are coming off an 8-2 win over the Pirates in Wednesday's meeting between both teams, and it's clear these two franchises are moving through opposite paths this season. While the Cubs are clear-cut contenders in the NL Central, the Pirates have shown flashes of brilliance but seem poised to be out of the playoffs as they continue their rebuilding effort. The pitching matchup for this early MLB contest will feature a duel of two righties, with Alec Mills (3-2, 5.23 ERA) for the Cubs and JT Brubaker (0-0, 4.50 ERA). That said, all signs point towards the offenses making a big impact here.

Injuries

Chicago Cubs

Corey Black - Out - Elbow

4/9 6:30 PM EST - Black announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he underwent Tommy John surgery. Black has barely pitched since 2016 as this is the third time he's undergone Tommy John surgery. The 27-year-old will be sidelined for the entire 2019 season and likely a good chunk of 2020.

Andrew Chafin - 10-Day IL - Finger

8/31 12:17 PM EST - Chafin (finger) was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Cubs on Monday in exchange for a player to be named later, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Chafin has been sidelined since Aug. 19 with a sprained left index finger, and he'll suit up for a new team once he returns. The southpaw was wearing a splint for the past week to help his finger heal, although it's unclear when he'll be able to take the mound again. Chafin allowed six runs on nine hits and four walks while striking out 10 over 6.2 innings this season.

Tyler Chatwood - 10-Day IL - Forearm

9/1 3:52 PM EST - Chatwood was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right forearm strain Tuesday. Chatwood underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed a right forearm strain. He'll officially head to the 10-day injured list, but he'll likely be out beyond 10 days. General manager Jed Hoyer was optimistic that the right-hander could return prior to the end of the season.

Daniel Descalso - 60-Day IL - Ankle

7/23 9:16 AM EST - The Cubs placed Descalso on the 45-day injured list Wednesday with a left ankle sprain, Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com reports. No reports surfaced in summer camp suggesting that Descalso was tending to a major injury, but the utility man will now be on the shelf for at least the next month and a half while he recovers from the ankle sprain. His absence likely paved the way for both Jason Kipnis and Nico Hoerner to crack the Opening Day roster.

Luke Hagerty - Out - Elbow

3/27 8:45 AM EST - Hagerty was recently diagnosed with an elbow injury that will require season-ending surgery, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. The injury likely spells an end to one of the best comeback stories of spring training, as Hagerty had earned an invite to the Cubs' big-league camp after a 13-year layoff from professional baseball. A first-round pick of the Cubs in 2002, Hagerty struggled through injuries and ineffectiveness in the lower minors and stepped away from the game for over a decade before flashing an upper-90s fastball while working out over the winter. The 37-year-old was expected to open the season at Triple-A Iowa or Double-A Tennessee, but the elbow injury will spell an end to that plan. While Bastian notes that Hagerty won't require Tommy John surgery, the elbow procedure could prompt the lefty to hang up his cleats for good.

James Norwood - 60-Day IL - Shoulder

8/23 10:30 AM EST - Norwood (shoulder) was transferred to the 45-day injured list Sunday. The 26-year-old threw a bullpen session a week after landing on the injured list at the start of August, but he apparently needs more time to recover. Norwood doesn't have an official timeline for his return, but he won't be eligible to be activated until mid-September.

Jose Quintana - 10-Day IL - Lat

9/2 2:57 PM EST - Quintana was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday with left lat inflammation, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Quintana presumably suffered the injury during Sunday's contest, as he pitched three innings of one-run relief after Tyler Chatwood (forearm) left with an injury. The severity of the injury remains unclear, but it's poor timing for the Cubs given Chatwood's injury and the upcoming doubleheader this weekend. Adbert Alzolay is a likely candidate to enter the rotation in the meantime.

Manuel Rodriguez - Out - Biceps

3/6 10:58 AM EST - Rodriguez (biceps) was optioned to Double-A Tennessee on Friday. Rodriguez is out indefinitely with a Grade 2 right biceps strain, but he was never a candidate for the big-league roster, as he's yet to play above High-A. As he has no big-league experience, the Cubs are allowed to option him now rather than placing him on the major-league injured list. It looks likely that he'll open the season on the injured list in the minors, however.

Brad Wieck - 60-Day IL - Hamstring

8/18 3:59 PM EST - Wieck (knee/hamstring) was placed on the 45-day injured list Tuesday. Wieck faced a setback in his recovery process recently, and he'll miss significant time as a result. While the left-hander's hamstring was reportedly feeling better, he was set back due to left knee soreness. It's unclear whether Wieck will return to the majors before the end of the regular season. Hernan Perez's contract was selected Tuesday in a corresponding move.

Mark Zagunis - Out - Opt Out

7/23 9:31 AM EST - The Cubs placed Zagunis on the restricted list Thursday after he informed the club that he will opt out of the 2020 season, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. Zagunis will lose his spot in the Cubs' 60-man player pool as a result, though he'll still remain under club control. Had he cracked the team's Opening Day roster, Zagunis likely would have been in line for limited action as a reserve outfielder.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Chris Archer - 60-Day IL - Shoulder

8/6 12:02 PM EST - Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday that Archer (shoulder) remains at his offseason home in California and is focusing on regaining his range of motion and strength, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. The Pirates will continue to check in with Archer periodically over the next two months while he recovers from season-ending thoracic outlet syndrome, but he'll likely be on his own in the rehab process come November, when Pittsburgh will almost certainly decline his $11 million team option for 2021. Even if his recovery from surgery proceeds as anticipated, the two-time All-Star will likely have to settle for a low-cost, one- or two-year deal after posting a 5.19 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 2019.

Socrates Brito - Out - Opt Out

9/1 4:03 PM EST - Brito decided to opt out of the remainder of the 2020 season after his brother passed away from COVID-19 last week, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Brito was unable to make the Opening Day roster and has since been at the Pirates' alternate training site. He'll sit out the rest of the season after the tragic death of his sibling.

Nick Burdi - 60-Day IL - Elbow

8/12 10:41 AM EST - Burdi (elbow) won't need surgery for now and will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection instead, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Burdi picked up his first career save this year but lasted just three appearances before his frustratingly frequent injury problems resurfaced. While it's certainly a positive that he's avoided surgery, his latest issue is nevertheless serious enough that he's already been ruled out for the remainder of the year. Whether or not he's at full strength to being the 2021 campaign remains to be seen.

Austin Davis - Covid-19 - Not Injury Related

9/2 7:41 PM EST - Davis was placed on the COVID-19 injured list while he goes through the intake protocols, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. The 27-year-old was acquired by the Pirates from the Phillies last week, but he'll need to clear the protocols before officially joining his new team. Davis had a 6.53 ERA and 1.74 WHIP over 20.2 innings last season and should fill a low-leverage role in Pittsburgh once he's on the roster.

Phillip Evans - 60-Day IL - Jaw

8/19 1:53 PM EST - Evans will undergo surgery to repair his broken jaw, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Evans landed on the 45-day injured list earlier in the month after sustaining a broken jaw and a concussion in a collision with teammate Gregory Polanco. While it was originally thought that he wouldn't require surgery, it turns out the 27-year-old will need a wire put in his jaw. Evans is eligible to return at the end of September, but the Pirates are preparing as though he'll miss the remainder of the season.

Michael Feliz - 60-Day IL - Forearm

8/6 11:45 AM EST - The Pirates ruled Feliz (forearm) out for the season after transferring him to the 45-day injured list Monday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Pittsburgh has lost two key pieces of the bullpen for the remainder of the season in recent days, as Nick Burdi (elbow) was also shut down for good after moving to the 45-day IL on Wednesday. The Pirates diagnosed Feliz with a strained right forearm, an injury that is often a precursor to Tommy John surgery. With the team having yet to announce that any surgery will be in the cards for Feliz, he'll presumably treat the injury through rest and rehab with the hope of being back to full health for spring training in 2021.

Clay Holmes - 60-Day IL - Forearm

8/11 3:55 PM EST - Holmes (forearm) was transferred to the 45-day injured list Tuesday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Holmes has been sidelined since the end of July with a right forearm strain. The team wasn't initially anticipating a very long absence, but the issue is evidently more serious than they thought. The 27-year-old will be eligible to return late in the 2020 campaign, but it wouldn't be surprising if the team shut him down for the remainder of the season so he can fully recover. Right-hander Nick Tropeano was claimed off waivers and optioned to the alternate training site to take Holmes' spot on the 40-man roster.

Keone Kela - 10-Day IL - Forearm

9/2 2:49 PM EST - Kela (forearm) played catch from 120 feet Wednesday and could throw a bullpen session later this week, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. The 27-year-old landed on the injured list last week with right forearm tightness, but he wasn't prevented from throwing for too long. Kela is unlikely to be activated when eligible to return this weekend, but his return may not be far off with a successful bullpen session.

Mitch Keller - 10-Day IL - Oblique

9/2 7:38 PM EST - Keller (oblique) is scheduled to throw live batting practice Thursday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. The 24-year-old landed on the injured list in early August with a left oblique injury, but facing live hitters is a good sign for his progression. The Pirates plan for Keller to return to game action before the end of the season, but a more specific timeline for his return remains unclear.

Kevin Kramer - 60-Day IL - Hip

6/29 1:02 PM EST - The Pirates placed Kramer (hip) on the 10-day injured list Monday and then transferred him to the 60-day IL. He underwent hip surgery in March that will sideline him for 4-to-6 months, so it's possible he won't play at all this season. Kramer was set to compete for a bench role under normal circumstances.

Travis MacGregor - Day-To-Day - Elbow

4/4 8:17 AM EST - MacGregor underwent Tommy John surgery last September and will miss the entire 2019 season, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports. A 6-foot-3, 180-pound projectable righty, MacGregor wasn't really on the dynasty-league radar, but he could have gotten himself there with a healthy, productive season at High-A. Instead, he will be on the shelf all season and may not even be healthy in time to pitch in winter ball. He will likely head back to Low-A to open the 2020 season to knock off rust before an assignment to High-A.

Luke Maile - 60-Day IL - Finger

7/23 11:43 AM EST - The Pirates placed Maile (finger) on the 60-day injured list Thursday. Maile was ruled out for 10-to-12 weeks after undergoing surgery July 17 to repair a fractured index finger on his throwing hand, so the transaction comes as little surprise. The Pirates will proceed with Jacob Stallings and John Ryan Murphy as their two catchers on the Opening Day roster with Maile sidelined.

James Marvel - Out - Forearm

8/19 2:05 PM EST - Marvel is dealing with a strained right forearm, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports. Marvel apparently suffered the injury a couple of weeks ago. While the severity of the issue is not yet known, forearm injuries can often be the precursor to a significant surgery.

Hector Noesi - Out - Opt Out

7/8 6:18 PM EST - Manager Derek Shelton said Wednesday that Noesi has opted out of the 2020 season due to family reasons, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports. The right-hander struggled over 27.2 innings in Miami last season with an 8.46 ERA, but he nonetheless earned a spot in Pittsburgh's 60-man player pool. Noesi will instead sit out the 2020 campaign for the benefit of his family.

Pablo Reyes - Suspension - Suspension

2/19 2:10 PM EST - Reyes was dealt an 80-game suspension without pay Wednesday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Reyes was not invited to spring training after being outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis on January 16. The 26-year-old struggled to produce offensively for the Pirates in 2019, slashing .203/.274/.322 with 39 runs scored and 36 RBI throughout 157 plate appearances.

Yacksel Rios - 10-Day IL - Shoulder

9/2 8:26 PM EST - Rios (shoulder) is playing catch from 120 feet, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Rios was placed on the injured list Aug. 18 with right shoulder inflammation, but he has yet to progress to mound work. The 27-year-old is already eligible to be activated, but it's unclear when he's expected to be ready for game action.

Edgar Santana - Suspension - Suspension

6/30 9:17 AM EST - The Pirates placed Santana (suspension) on the restricted list Sunday. Pittsburgh made the move shortly after it was announced Sunday that Santana had received an 80-game suspension following his positive test for the performance-enhancing substance Boldenon. The transaction opens up an extra spot on the 40-man roster and spells an official end to the right-hander's season, as he won't be an option with the Pirates only playing 60 games in 2020. He'll serve out the final 20 games of his suspension at the start of the 2021 season.

Jameson Taillon - 60-Day IL - Elbow

8/26 10:39 AM EST - Taillon (elbow) will throw live batting practice Wednesday at the alternate site in Altoona, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports. Former Pirates beat writer Travis Sawchik, now of FiveThirtyEight, retweeted a video that Taillon posted, noting that he has shortened his arm action, similar to what Lucas Giolito and many Cleveland pitchers have done in recent years. This may provide optimism that Taillon can be the rare pitcher who successfully recovers from two Tommy John surgeries. He is not expected back until the 2021 season.

Felipe Vazquez - Out - Personal

11/19 1:11 PM EST - Florida prosecutors filed 21 new charges against Vazquez on Tuesday, Renatta Signorini and Rich Cholodofsky of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report. Police seized an iPhone and a MacBook Pro they say belonged to Vazquez, and a search of those devices led to the additional charges; 10 counts of child pornography, 10 counts of unlawful contact with a minor and a single charge of corruption of minors. Vazquez was originally arrested in September for engaging in sexual activity with a minor and was subsequently placed on the restricted list by MLB. He is being held without bail.

Pirates Expected Lineup

SP - JT Brubaker

1. Erik Gonzalez

2. Adam Frazier

3. Josh Bell

4. Colin Moran

5. Bryan Reynolds

6. Gregory Polanco

7. Ke'Bryan Hayes

8. Jacob Stallings

9. Cole Tucker

Cubs Expected Lineup

SP - Alec Mills

1. Ian Happ

2. Kris Bryant

3. Anthony Rizzo

4. Javier Baez

5. Kyle Schwarber

6. Willson Contreras

7. Jason Heyward

8. Jose Martinez

9. Jason Kipnis

Top Picks From Each Team

Ian Happ, Cubs: Happ has been one of the top hitting threats for the Cubs this season and, in a year where household names such as Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras have not performed as expected, Happ has stepped his game up considerably. He is hitting .308 with 10 homers and 22 RBI in 36 games.

Colin Moran, Pirates: Moran has been one of the few offensive performers worth mentioning in the Pirates roster – Pittsburgh has one of the weakest lineups in the National League, but Moran has made his presence felt with seven homers, 12 RBI and a .892 OPS in 26 games.

Captaincy Options

  1. Ian Happ
  2. Anthony Rizzo
  3. Colin Moran
  4. Kyle Schwarber

Dream11 Team

P – Alec Mills

C – John Ryan Murphy

IF – Erik Gonzalez

IF – Colin Moran

IF – Josh Bell

IF – Anthony Rizzo

IF – Javier Baez

OF – Ian Happ (C)

OF – Kyle Schwarber

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Pablo Aravena
34-year-old sports analyst and journalist. Fan of every single sport on this earth. Enjoys a good beer, some good food, and good company. NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL and soccer fan.
MLB FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
MLB FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
MLB Picks Today: MLB Best Bets and Player Props for Thursday, June 1
MLB Picks Today: MLB Best Bets and Player Props for Thursday, June 1
MLB DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Thursday, June 1
MLB DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Thursday, June 1
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Plays and Strategy
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Plays and Strategy