* Liriano missed the first month and a half of last season, but still ended up with a 16-8 record. Over a four-month stretch from May to September, he had a decision in 23 straight starts, going 16-7 with a 2.92 ERA over that stretch.
* Like last year’s Opening Day at PNC Park, the Cubs counter with Jeff Samardzija, a pitcher who has always had success in Pittsburgh, allowing only 3 earned runs in 37 innings pitched.
* Last year, the Cubs got a lot of their production from the long ball, scoring 44.4% of their runs via the HR, second only to Seattle (46%) in MLB.
* Both teams had their problems last season getting runners home from third base. Th Pirates were second from the bottom in the majors, scoring only 45.8% of the runners at 3rd with less than 2 outs. The Cubs were third-worst at 49.1%