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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Giants series preview

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The Cubs head to the West Coast to take on the Giants.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a few weeks since the Cubs and Giants met at Wrigley Field, and the Giants are still hanging in the N.L. West race, just four games out of first place.

I asked Bryan Murphy, manager of our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles, to update us on his team.

The Giants have been better at home (28-16), but they’ve mostly been an extreme .500 team all season. After falling to 35-38 on June 18, they closed the month on a 9-2 run to reach 44-40.

They swept the first-place Diamondbacks but then scored only three runs in a 3-game series in Coors Field and split four games against the Cardinals to reach 47-45. Due to a litany of injuries and circumstances, they’ve finally started a bit of a youth movement, mixing in rotation rookies Dereck Rodríguez and Andrew Suarez, outfielders Austin Slater and Steven Duggar, and infielder Alen Hanson with returning vets like Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Andrew McCutchen, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, and Brandon Belt.

That doesn’t mean the Giants are actively tanking as part of a rebuild, but the decision to play more rookies demonstrates a change in organizational philosophy, as they’ve always stuck with their veterans regardless of record. They’re solid, but not dominant, in every facet of the game, so the Cubs will be fine so long as they give at or near their peak performance.

Fun fact

Dereck Rodriguez, who the Cubs will see Wednesday, is the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. That’s right, a Hall of Fame catcher has a son who’s a pitcher.

Pitching matchups

Monday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (5-8, 4.27 ERA, 1.247 WHIP, 4.80 FIP) vs. Andrew Suarez, LHP (3-5, 3.92 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, 3.56 FIP)

Tuesday: Jose Quintana, LHP (7-6, 4.22 ERA, 1.407 WHIP, 4.71 FIP) vs. Johnny Cueto, RHP (3-1, 1.95 ERA, 0.919 WHIP, 3.55 FIP)

Wednesday: Mike Montgomery, LHP (3-3, 3.68 ERA, 1.239 WHIP, 4.08 FIP) vs. Dereck Rodriguez, RHP (3-1, 3.09 ERA, 1.282 WHIP, 3.42 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Monday: 9:15 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and San Francisco markets)

Tuesday: 9:15 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago

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

Prediction

Despite what appear to be unfavorable pitching matchups, the Cubs are a hot team right now, having won nine of their last 11, and the Giants have lost five of their last seven. I think the time is ripe for Hendricks and Quintana to get their mojo back and for the Cubs to win two of three.

Up next

The Cubs have Thursday off, then head down the California coast to San Diego, where they’ll face the Padres in a three-game series beginning Friday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Giants?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    3
    (64 votes)
  • 57%
    2
    (188 votes)
  • 18%
    1
    (62 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (14 votes)
328 votes total Vote Now