MLB on Sling TV: Pirates at Cubs on ESPN; Wednesday's Action on FOX Sports Regional Networks

Aug 31, 2016 by Scott Ross

(all times Eastern, starters subject to change)

Pittsburgh Pirates (Vogelsong 3-3, 3.02) at Chicago Cubs (Hammel 13-7, 3.21)
8pm ET on ESPN

It was never in Pirates’ plans to have Ryan Vogelsong make 6 starts in the month of August, and yet, here we are. And thank god for him, as he’s posted a 2.48 ERA over 29 innings in his previous 5 starts, though the Pirates have managed to win just two of them. It’s been a tough year for the Pirates’ staff, as they have 9 guys who’ve made 5 or more starts, tied for 5th in the Majors. Adding to the Pirates’ woes is Andrew McCutchen’s awful season, in which his strikeout rate is at a career high, his walk rate is at a career low, and his BABIP is 35 points off his career norm. He’s shown some signs of life lately, with an .863 OPS over his last 21 games, but he’s gonna need to step it up if the Pirates are gonna make a run at the Wild Card, as following last night’s 3-0 loss to the Cubs they sit 67-63, 2 ½ games behind the Cardinals in the race for the second spot.

Jason Hammel got beat up for the second start in a row on Saturday, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits over just 2 ⅓ innings against the Dodgers, as LA appeared to be just waiting to pounce on his slider, which he was throwing more than usual. With the Cubs it atop the NL Central with a record of 84-47, 14 games ahead of the Cardinals (their magic number to clinch the division is already down to 18 and it’s not yet September – ridiculous), now’s as good a time as any for Hammel to go struggle, as they can afford to let him work out the kinks or just get some rest.

Watch the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the Chicago Cubs at 8pm ET Wednesday on ESPN by subscribing to the Sling Orange.

And here’s the action from the FOX Sports regional networks across the land…

Chicago White Sox (Sale 15-7, 3.14) at Detroit Tigers (Verlander 14-7, 3.33)
1:10pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit

Tampa Bay Rays (Smyly 6-11, 4.80) at Boston Red Sox (Wright 13-6, 3.18)
1:35pm ET on Fox Sports Sun

Seattle Mariners (Hernandez 9-4, 3.14) at Texas Rangers (Perez 8-10, 4.45)
2:05pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest

Arizona Diamondbacks (Miller 2-9, 7.14) at San Francisco Giants (Moore 8-10, 3.95)
3:45pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona

Cincinnati Reds (Finnegan 8-9, 4.27) at Los Angeles Angels (Nolasco 4-12, 5.24)
7:05pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati & FOX Sports West

Miami Marlins (Phelps 7-6, 2.52) at New York Mets (Colon 12-7, 3.44)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Florida

Minnesota Twins (Dean 1-4, 6.24) at Cleveland Indians (Kluber 14-8, 3.07)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports North & SportsTime Ohio

San Diego Padres (Clemens 2-3, 5.06) at Atlanta Braves (Wisler 5-11, 4.92)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports San Diego & FOX Sports Southeast

St. Louis Cardinals (Weaver 1-1, 3.60) at Milwaukee Brewers (Garza 4-6, 4.89)
8:10pm ET on FOX Sports Midwest & FOX Sports Wisconsin

New York Yankees (Cessa 4-0, 4.11) at Kansas City Royals (Kennedy 9-9, 3.57)
8:15pm ET on FOX Sports Kansas City & YES

Watch baseball on FOX and FOX Sports Regional Networks by subscribing to the Sling Blue.

All stats courtesy of ESPN, Baseball Reference and FanGraphs

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