2021 Pittsburgh Pirates: Home Opener Series Preview

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2021 Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 07: The Pittsburgh Pirates stand during the National Anthem before the game against the Atlanta Braves on Opening Day at PNC Park on April 7, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves below the .500 mark as they come home for their first series against the Chicago Cubs. Besides a new-look roster, the team will be finding a stadium with fans, but also with restrictions.

2021 Pittsburgh Pirates: Restrictions on PNC Park

The state of Pennsylvania has capped attendance at outdoor venues to twenty-five percent capacity at this time. That means approximately 8,000 fans will potentially be in attendance for each of the first 12 home games this season. Other changes include contactless entry, no cash at concession stands, masks as a mandatory accessory when in the stadium, and social distancing whether vaccinated or not. At this time, neither proof of vaccine or negative COVID-19 test is required for entry into the stadium.

Thursday Starter Tyler Anderson

Anderson will be making his second start against the Cubs, having started on Saturday and taking the loss after giving up three runs over five innings. His opponent will again be Jake Arrieta, a noted Pirate killer in the past. He breezed through six innings allowing one run on six hits. Edge Cubs.

Saturday Starter Mitch Keller

Keller was on the short end of the decision Sunday afternoon and is looking to regain control of his repertoire. Lasting only three innings, he hopes to be on the mound a lot longer on Saturday. He will be going up against Zach Davies who gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday, getting his first Cubs to win. A control pitcher much like Kyle Hendricks, he hopes that some of his magic will rub off on him. Edge Cubs.

Sunday Starter JT Brubaker

Brubaker got a no-decision on Monday after a four-inning start against the Reds where he gave up one run on three hits and a troubling four walks. Brubaker will need to have everything in his favor as he is going up against former Pirate Trevor Williams in this series closing game. Williams went six-plus innings on Monday, carrying a shutout through six before running out of gas. He did get the win against the Brewers. Edge Cubs.

Without Hayes

The 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates are going to be missing one of their best players with Ke’Byran Hayes is on the IL with a wrist strain. This causes a domino effect with an already weak bench. The fact that the Pirates are also carrying 14 pitchers makes for a short bench which is very difficult to overcome.

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main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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