Daily Fantasy Baseball NLWC Preview – Chicago Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Cash Draft Baseball Contest continues Wednesday with the National League Wild Card Game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Is this the year that Chicago can finally lift the curse of the Billy Goat, or will Pittsburgh follow up on their best season since 1991? One thing for sure, the winner will move on to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS.
The Chicago Cubs have won 11 out of the 19 matchups against the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. They’ve also defeated them 6 time in 10 games at PNC Park, Pittsburgh home stadium, during the year. You can follow the game this Wednesday on TBS at 8pm Eastern Time.
Pitching matchup: Chicago Cubs Jake Arrieta (22-6) vs Pittsburgh Pirates Gerrit Cole (19-8)
Two N.L. CY Young contenders will take the mound in the NLWC. The Cubs have the MLB leader in wins Jake Arrieta. He became, this season, the 14th player in Cubs history to get a no-hitter and the 6th in the league this year. The 29 years-old did not lose a game since July 25th, racking up 11 wins and a 0.57 ERA in that stretch. This season, he’s holding an ERA of 1.77 and 236 strikeouts. The Pittsburgh Pirates will turn to their young ace to even the odds. Gerrit Cole finished the year with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts. What’s going for Cole is that he already has playoff experience (1-1, 2.45 ERA), as opposed to Arrieta who will make his post-season debut.
Arrieta has faced the Pirates 5 time, this year. He’s 3-1 with a 0.75 ERA against them. His counterpart, Gerrit Cole, also had a 3-1 record in 4 games against the Cubs. His earned run average is a bit higher at 2.15. Cole is going to come to the game with a week rest under his belt. He hasn’t pitched since September 30th. Even with the quality pitching Cole bring to the field, he needs to be perfect to defeat Arrieta and the Cubs
Catchers: Chicago Cubs Miguel Montero vs Pittsburgh Pirates Francisco Cervelli
Francisco Cervelli proved that he’s more than a defensive catcher. He bested his career numbers in home run (7), run batted in (43) and runs (56) this season. He has completed the year with a .295 batting average. Miguel Montero has been tagged as one of the best catchers over the last few years. He has hit 15 homers and 53 RBI’s, scored 36 runs and batted .248 in 2015.
First basemen: Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo vs Pittsburgh Pirates Pedro Alvarez
Chicago Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo reached over a 100 RBI’s for the first time in his career. He’s been the big bat for his team all season long, hitting .278 with 31 blasts and 101 RBI’s while stealing base 17 times. Opposing Rizzo at first base is Pedro Alvarez. The 2nd overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft is in the prime years of his career. He has 77 RBI’s with 27 dingers and a .243 average.
Second basemen: Chicago Cubs Starlin Castro vs Pittsburgh Pirates Neil Walker
Neil Walker is a solid second baseman, one might even say underrated. With 16 homers, 71 RBI’s and a .269 average this year, the 30 year-old will need to raise his low post-season batting average. The Chicago Cubs shifted Starlin Castro from shortstop to second base back in August. Depending whether he’s still playing at shortstop in your Daily Fantasy League, Castro still needs to improve his bat to become an offensive infielder. He’s hitting .265 with 11 home runs and 69 RBI’s this year.
Third basemen: Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant vs Pittsburgh Pirates Aramis Ramirez
It’s rookie vs veteran in this third base head-to-head. Aramis Ramirez had an illustrious career in the majors. But at 37 years-old saw his bat start to slow down. He had 17 home runs and 75 RBI’s with a .246 batting average, this year. Kris Bryant delivered in his first season in the big leagues. A total of 26 deep flies, 99 RBI’s and a .275 average has him lead the race for the N.L. rookie of the year.
Shortstops: Chicago Cubs Addison Russell vs Pittsburgh Pirates Jordy Mercer
Addison Russell is another Chicago prospect that performed well for the team. Batting .242 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI’s, he’s likely to be the sleeper in this Fantasy Baseball competition. Jordy Mercer hits in the bottom of the order and it shows. He has 3 homers, 34 RBI’s and a .244 average.
Outfielders: Chicago Cubs Dexter Fowler, Kyle Schwarber & Chris Coghlan
vs Pittsburgh Pirates Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte & Andrew McCutchen
Nobody is really standing out in the Cubs outfield this year. Yet again, another rookie has the potential to be a sleeper. Kyle Schwarber was the 4th overall pick in the 2014 MLB draft. A player making the team this soon definitely has something special. He has collected 16 homers, 432 RBI’s, 52 runs and a .246 average this season. His fantasy position is still iffy. He could still be a catcher in some one day cash draft league. Dexter Fowler is the better, more seasoned fantasy option. He is batting .250 with 17 home runs, 46 RBI’s and 20 stolen bases. Chris Coghlan has 41 RBI’s with 16 homers and a .250 batting average.
The Pirates outfield is probably the team best feature. And it’s all thanks to the 2013 National League Most Valuable Player. Andrew McCutchen is a definite fantasy pick in the NLWC. He had 96 RBI’s, 23 homers and a batting average of .292, in 2015. Both Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco made some strides to become stars, this year in the big league. Marte had 81 RBI’s, 19 dingers and 30 stolen bases with an average of .287, while Polanco finished his year with 9 homers, 84 runs, 27 stolen bases and an average of .256.
Daily Fantasy NLWC Picks
P Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs
C Miguel Montero – Chicago Cubs
1B Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
2B Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
3B Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
SS Addison Russell – Chicago Cubs
OF Dexter Fowler – Chicago Cubs
OF Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
OF Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates