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This Week in Baseball: Week 11 is all Cubs

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The season is surging through June and week 11 is full of action.  Positions within divisions are changing and some could have made over rankings by the of the week.  The baseball season is too long you say? I think not.  This is what’s going on this week in baseball

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve mentioned the Chicago Cubs, but this week it’s unavoidable.  Hands down the best series going on this week is the Cubs vs the Washington Nationals.  Both teams are currently atop their divisions and the Cubs are still leading the league in wins.  Historically the Nats have been just slightly better than the Cubs but that was before Joe Maddon took over in 2015.  Dusty Baker’s team is going to have their hands full with the baby bears.

Every game in this 3 game series is going to nonstop awesomeness but if I had to pick one to watch it would have to be the Wednesday afternoon match up of of Jason Hammel and Stephen Strasburg.  Both pitchers have been dominant.  Strasburg has almost double the strike outs of Hammel, but Hammel has 3 less home runs hit off him than Strasburg, and walks are about equal.  Get out of work early for this one, it will be worth it.

The weekend has 2 series that baseball that will give you every reason to stay home and watch; Chicago White Sox vs the Cleveland Indians and the Pittsburgh Pirates vs the Cubs.  

The AL Central has had a new leader for the last week or so.  The  Indians have surged to the top spot in the division and the city of Cleveland has a reason to smile.  The last time that the Indians were even close to the playoffs was 2013 when they lost the infamous single Wild Card game to the Tampa Bay Rays.  Could this be the a year they get to compete for a title?

The AL Central has the tightest compete in the league and has a 3 way tie for 2nd place between the World Champion Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers, and the White Sox.  This series will be a golden chance for the White Sox to narrow the gap between them and the top spot.  They are currently 3.5 games behind the Indians.  Pitchers for any of the games have not been confirmed by either team, but based on previous starts Sunday’s game is the one to watch because it should be Chris Sale vs Corey Kluber.  Dueling aces always makes for a good watch.

Coming out the a weekend where the Pirates were swept at home by the St. Louis Cardinals, they have the misfortune of playing the New York Mets in New York early in the week then are headed to Chicago to to battle the Cubs.  Last week the Pirates were able to take 2 of 3 from the Mets at home, but playing away is always more challenging.  
The Pirates are struggling right now.  Their pitching and offence have been weak and there is no good reason for it.  Last Friday Gerrit Cole was pulled from the game against the Cardinals with tricep tightness and is said to be missing no more than 2 starts.  Additionally on Friday, catcher Francisco Cervelli when to the DL with a fractured left hand and will be out until after the All Star break.  That said, all the Pirates heavy hitters Josh Harrison, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte are more than capable of making up for those missing pieces and need to step up if the Pirates are going to stop losing a foothold in the division.   

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