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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Giants series preview

The Cubs are playing a team here that isn’t very good this year. Let’s examine that in detail.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

As always when the Cubs meet the Giants, I turn this part of the preview over to my friend Grant Brisbee, who heads up our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles.

We're past the point of explaining the 2017 Giants. Pablo Sandoval is on the 25-man roster because Brandon Belt was hit in the head with a pitch. That's a perfect summary of how the season has gone for them. It's fascinating, it's appalling, it's morbidly curious ... it's the 2017 Giants!

While I would like to point at the 2017 Giants as a cautionary tale for any team, including the Cubs, they're not. They're a cautionary tale for the 2023 Cubs, if they make a series of similar decisions while having similar struggles with their farm system. That's not especially likely. If the Cubs crash and burn eventually, it'll be for a host of different reasons. Injuries. Farm droughts. Locusts.

What I would like to point out, though, is how much would be fixed for the Giants if they played better. And I'm not talking about players like Eugenio Velez turning into superstars. I'm talking about players who have helped before. Players who could help again.

The story of the 2017 Giants? Hit like you used to, Joe Panik. Hit like you used to, Brandon Crawford. Hit like you used to, Hunter Pence.

Pitch like you used to, Matt Moore. Prevent runs like you used to, Jeff Samardzija. Stay healthy like you used to, Johnny Cueto and Madison Bumgarner.

Of all those players, I'm willing to concede that, fine, Pence might be on the other side of the hill. For the most part, though, the Giants have been a collection of players who haven't done what they were expected to do, and they weren't buttressed by players like Ben Gamel, Yonder Alonso, or Logan Morrison, players with an established level of production who unexpectedly provided much more. Their good players were bad now. Their bad players weren't good. It happened with just about every player on the roster.

And that’s the story of the 2017 Giants.

Fun fact

This might not be much fun if you’re a Giants fan. The Giants’ current winning percentage of .389 translates to a 99-loss season. The Giants have lost 100 games only once in franchise history: in 1985, when they went 62-100.

Two years later they won 90 games and the N.L. West title.

Pitching matchups

Monday: Jake Arrieta, RHP (10-8, 3.88 ERA, 1.198 WHIP, 4,10 FIP) vs. Matt Moore, LHP (3-11, 5.80 ERA, 1.598 WHIP, 4.73 FIP)

Tuesday: Jose Quintana, LHP (6-9, 4.42 ERA, 1.262 WHIP, 4.03 FIP) vs. Ty Blach, LHP (7-7, 4.24 ERA, 1.298 WHIP, 3.89 FIP)

Wednesday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (4-4, 3.81 ERA, 1.218 WHIP, 4.29 FIP) vs. Madison Bumgarner, LHP (1-5, 2.88 ERA, 1.045 WHIP, 3.22 FIP)

  • Quintana’s numbers above are his season totals including his 18 starts with the White Sox. As a Cub: four starts, 2-1, 4.13 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 4.14 FIP

Times & TV channels

Monday: 9:05 p.m. CT, WGN, ESPN (no blackouts, full national telecast)

Tuesday: 9:15 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and San Francisco markets)

Wednesday: 2:45 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and San Francisco markets)


The Cubs are facing three lefthanded starters in this series. The Cubs are 18-7 against lefthanded starters this year.

The Giants just got finished taking two of three at home from the Diamondbacks, but are 25-31 at home and overall are 10-13 since the All-Star break.

The Cubs took three of four from the Giants at Wrigley Field in May. If the Cubs don’t take two of three here, they are in serious trouble.

So: Two of three.

Up next

The Cubs have Thursday off before heading to Phoenix for a three-game series against the Diamondbacks which begins Friday evening.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Giants?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    (118 votes)
  • 38%
    (99 votes)
  • 11%
    (29 votes)
  • 3%
    (8 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now