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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Giants series preview

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The Cubs hope to get back on the winning track this weekend.

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Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports

After being swept by the Indians and scoring just one run in two games, the Cubs hope to do better against the Giants.

Bryan Murphy is the new site manager at our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles. I asked him to give us an update on the Giants.

The Giants just want to tread water until Madison Bumgarner returns because they hope that in getting back their best pitcher the starting rotation will stabilize. Thing is, he won’t be back for at least a couple of weeks and Johnny Cueto’s return is unknown, so, treading water feels like a long shot, given the remaining pitching that isn’t known for quality starts or limiting runs.

Derek Holland has been just barely okay in his past four starts, Chris Stratton has gone from promising third starter to possibly needing a trip to Triple-A or the bullpen because of his past four starts, Ty Blach has only been good against the Dodgers. Offensively, they can hit a little bit, and Brandon Belt’s hot streak doesn’t represent output beyond his skill set — his issue has always been staying on the field once these streaks commence.

Beyond Belt, and despite the somewhat pesky collective of remaining hitters, they don’t walk at all and strike out a bunch. The Giants have managed to not play down to opponents beneath them, but they have not been able to play up to their betters, either. They’re in the midst of a nine-game road trip against three teams that are all much better than them.

Fun fact

In 2012, when Friday’s Giants starter Derek Holland was with the Rangers, he did a TV weather forecast that included in part a bad Harry Caray impression:

Pitching matchups

Friday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (3-3, 3.40 ERA, 1.078 WHIP, 4.33 FIP) vs. Derek Holland, LHP (2-5, 4.94 ERA, 1.268 WHIP, 4.80 FIP)

Saturday: Jose Quintana, LHP (5-3, 4.47 ERA, 1.469 WHIP, 4.68 FIP) vs. Chris Stratton, RHP (5-3, 4.92 ERA, 1.453 WHIP, 4.41 FIP)

Sunday: Yu Darvish, RHP (1-3, 4.95 ERA, 1.425 WHIP, 4.81 FIP) vs. Ty Blach, LHP (3-4, 4.37 ERA, 1.491 WHIP, 4.12 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and San Francisco markets)

Saturday: 6:15 p.m. CT, Fox-TV (regional — coverage map). Fox announcers: Len Kasper and Tom Verducci

Sunday: 7:05 p.m. CT, ESPN

Prediction

With Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto out and Jeff Samardzija not scheduled in this series, the Cubs get the bottom portion of the Giants rotation. I like all three of these pitching matchups, but just because baseball, I’ll say the Cubs will take two of three.

Up next

The Cubs have that ridiculous short turnaround to a day game Monday in Pittsburgh, the first of a three-game series at PNC Park against the Pirates.


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Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Giants?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    3
    (66 votes)
  • 37%
    2
    (60 votes)
  • 14%
    1
    (23 votes)
  • 6%
    0
    (10 votes)
159 votes total Vote Now