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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Giants series preview

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The Cubs return to Wrigley Field for an important six-game homestand.

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Giants took two of three from the Cubs in San Francisco last month.

Can they do it again? (We hope not.) For more on the Giants, here’s Bryan Murphy, who runs our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles.

The Giants are a different team from the one that broke camp at the end of March. The core of the lineup is no longer Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford (with Evan Longoria as sort of a wild card); it’s now a mix of players picked up off the street and players who’ve reinvented a part of their game while in a Giants uniform. 28-year-old rookie Mike Yastrzemski has hit 16 home runs since being called up on May 27. Kevin Pillar has hit a career-high 17 home runs, all of them after being traded from Toronto to the Giants after the first week of the season. Stephen Vogt has returned from a debilitating shoulder injury to become a more than capable backup, and actually leads the team in xwOBA (.386) since the All-Star break (81 PA) while being a serviceable defensive player and perhaps an unheralded young pitcher whisperer.

Vogt will more than likely be behind the plate to catch Tyler Beede, the Giants’ game one starter. Beede has stuff but lacks consistency. He has the confidence of the team but not confidence in himself. Game two starter Dereck Rodriguez has the confidence but not the stuff. Jeff Samardzija has some stuff and some confidence. In all cases, they have a penchant for big innings and against a stingy lineup, they might suffer such a fate if they have to come into the strike zone more often than they’d like. The Giants’ bullpen, a strength for most of the season, has tired of late. The trades of Sam Dyson and Mark Melancon weren’t quite body blows, but they loom large in the face of the pen’s collective struggle to avoid walks and pitches right down the middle.

But what you want to know is if the Giants will be some sort of threat to your beloved Cubs. Sure, the Giants have scored the third-most runs in the National League (222) since July 1st, but they’ve allowed just the sixth-fewest (185). They have the most wins in the National League during this same stretch (27-15), too, and they’ve played better on the road this year (34-29), too; however, they’re 3-12 at Wrigley since 2015, so I think your guys will be just fine.

Fun fact

On June 29, the Giants were 35-47 and in last place in the N.L. West. They then went on a 17-3 run which culminated with a win over the Cubs July 23, and they moved into second place.

Since then they’ve been a bit more pedestrian 11-12. The Cubs are 12-11 since that loss July 23 in San Francisco.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday: Cole Hamels, LHP (6-4, 3.69 ERA, 1.322 WHIP, 3.72 FIP) vs. Tyler Beede, RHP (3-7, 5.77 ERA, 1.597 WHIP, 5.42 FIP)

Wednesday: Yu Darvish, RHP (4-6, 4.21 ERA, 1.158 WHIP, 4.57 FIP) vs. Dereck Rodriguez, RHP (5-6, 4.59 ERA, 1.388 WHIP, 5.11 FIP)

Thursday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (8-9, 3.37 ERA, 1.130 WHIP, 3.90 FIP) vs. Jeff Samardzija, RHP (9-9, 3.54 ERA, 1.117 WHIP, 4.41 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago Plus

Wednesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago

Thursday: 1:20 p.m. CT, WGN, MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Giants market territories)

Prediction

Well, the Cubs are home, so that means they can continue the winning they began on the last two days of the road trip. On the other hand, the Giants actually have a better road record (34-29) than home record (29-33), as noted by Bryan Murphy. On the other, other hand, the Giants won two of three from the Cubs in San Francisco last month, so I’ll say the Cubs will take two of three here.

Up next

The Cubs host the Washington Nationals in a three-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Friday afternoon.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Giants?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    3
    (124 votes)
  • 48%
    2
    (144 votes)
  • 6%
    1
    (19 votes)
  • 2%
    0
    (8 votes)
295 votes total Vote Now