The Pittsburgh Pirates are riding a five-game winning streak heading into Monday night’s action against the Chicago Cubs, in large part due to great performances from the starting pitching coupled with a few starting position players knocking the cover off the ball. Maybe the Arizona Diamondbacks can be considered inferior competition, but taking back-to-back games from the Cubs isn’t too shabby. The Pirates have averaged 4.7 runs per game over the last seven games while allowing only 3.3 runs per game. That’s great production from both sides, as Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, and A.J. Burnett are all pitching like aces to start the season.
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Neil Walker is having arguably the best offensive season so far from anyone in the Pirates starting lineup, yet the rest of the lineup, while surging lately, has struggled for most of the season. Andrew McCutchen continues to fail to produce at a high level, whether that’s because of a lingering injury or not. Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer also aren’t performing to the level that’s expected of them this season. Nonetheless, the Pirates are still three games over .500 heading into Monday night. Let’s first take a look at who’s been hot for the team this past week, and then who hasn’t.
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