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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Giants series preview

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The Cubs open an important West Coast road trip in San Francisco.

Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The last Giants team to have a winning record, before their good start this year, was the 2016 club the Cubs dispatched in a four-game Division Series. Last year San Francisco went 29-31 in the abbreviated 60-game season, missing the expanded postseason on a tiebreaker.

So how are they 34-21 entering this series, the best record in the National League?

Starting pitching, mostly. They’ve got a guy who was previously good throwing out of his mind (Kevin Gausman), a guy who was injured and bad last year being solid (Anthony DeSclafani) and a rejuvenated Johnny Cueto.

But they are also getting All-Star production out of Buster Posey, who opted out of the 2020 season, and very good years from veterans Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria, both playing like they were five years ago. Can they maintain this level?

This series will be a good test for both teams. Like the Cubs, the Giants have a few key performers on the injured list (Brandon Belt and former Cub Tommy La Stella among them), but have had others step up in their absence.

Should be a good series.

Fun fact

These two teams last met in August 2019 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs swept that three-game set.

Probable pitching matchups

Thursday: Zach Davies, RHP (2-2, 4.65 ERA, 1.629 WHIP, 4.86 FIP) vs. Anthony DeSclafani, RHP (4-2, 3.56 ERA, 1.154 WHIP, 3.84 FIP)

Friday: Jake Arrieta, RHP (5-5, 4.41 ERA, 1.392 WHIP, 5.17 FIP) vs. Logan Webb, RHP (4-3, 3.86 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 3.28 FIP)

Saturday: Kohl Stewart, RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.800 WHIP, 3.54 FIP) vs. Kevin Gausman, RHP (6-0, 1.40 ERA, 0.807 WHIP, 2.20 FIP)

Sunday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (6-4, 4.62 ERA, 1.396 WHIP, 5.51 FIP) vs. Johnny Cueto, RHP (4-1, 3.45 ERA, 1.195 WHIP, 2.64 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Thursday: 8:45 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Friday: 8:45 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Saturday: 6:15 p.m. CT, Fox-TV (regional — coverage map)

Sunday: 3:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

The Giants, as you can see, have starters who are doing very well — third-best starter ERA in the NL. Giants relievers — not so much, they rank just sixth in the NL, while the Cubs’ bullpen is second-best (ERA-wise, also by fWAR).

So this series will do a lot to tell us about both teams going forward. I’ll be satisfied with a split. Since May 16 the Cubs are 13-3, the Giants 10-5. With the Cubs playing well in all aspects of the game, perhaps they can pull off a series win.

Up next

The Cubs head to San Diego for a rematch with the Padres, a three-game series beginning Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Giants?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    4
    (29 votes)
  • 24%
    3
    (94 votes)
  • 50%
    2
    (195 votes)
  • 14%
    1
    (55 votes)
  • 3%
    0
    (14 votes)
387 votes total Vote Now