MLB: Game One-St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates

Playoff Prospectus: Cubs vs. Pirates ($)

This piece, by BP Wrigleyville’s Editor-in-Chief Sahadev Sharma, first appeared at the Baseball Prospectus main site and is exclusively available to BP subscribers. We’ve posted a sneak preview here.

By winning their final eight games, the Cubs put some pressure on the Pirates in the final week of the season. But Pittsburgh did what they needed to do, defeating the Reds 4-0 on the final day of the season and ensuring that they’d have home-field advantage on Wednesday against Chicago.

Lineups (AVG/OBP/SLG/TAv)

CF-S Dexter Fowler (.250/.346/.411/.281)
RF-L Kyle Schwarber (.246/.355/.487/.307)
LF-R Kris Bryant (.275/.369/.488/.317)
1B-L Anthony Rizzo (.278/.387/.512/.328)
2B-R Starlin Castro (.265/.296.375/.243)
C-L Miguel Montero (.248/.345/.409/.279)
SS-R Addison Russell (.242/.307/.389/.252)
P-R Jake Arrieta (.152/.163/.266/.153)
3B-L Tommy La Stella (.269/.324/.403/.269)

Joe Maddon isn’t tipping his hand with regards to his lineup on Wednesday, and for those who have been following this team all season the possibilities are endless. Here’s what we know: Anthony Rizzo is at first, Addison Russell at short, Dexter Fowler in center, Miguel Montero behind the plate, and Jake Arrieta on the mound. While Starlin Castro’s .243TAv may look rough, he finished the season on a .353/.374/.594 run in his final 44 games. That’s the player many expected to see all season—well, maybe not that good—and after a semi-benching and some mechanical adjustments, he finally emerged. Look for Castro to start at second.

To read the rest of this article, please head over to Baseball Prospectus.

Lead photo courtesy Charles LeClaire—USA Today Sports.

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