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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Giants series preview

The Cubs will try to do better in their third straight California series.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

For more on the Giants, here’s Brady Klopfer, managing editor of our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles.

The Giants have been in a funny spot all year long. Highly-public offseason attempts to woo Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa to the Bay Area showed that the team was intent on contending. But after they finished second for Judge, and a failed physical cost them 13 years of Correa, they pivoted to mid-tier signings, and it was unclear if it was anywhere near enough to supply the team with a competitive roster.

The early returns were bad. The Giants made five notable free agent signings, and four of them — Ross Stripling, Sean Manaea, Taylor Rogers, and Michael Conforto struggled mightily in April. The fifth, Mitch Haniger, was injured. The Giants were sinking, and their record reflected it. The lone silver lining was that the farm system was excelling, and the Giants quickly turned to a youth movement, calling up two defensive wizards: infielder Casey Schmitt and catcher Patrick Bailey, members of the 2020 draft class who were promoted very aggressively.

The youngsters provided a burst of both energy and talent, and it had a ripple effect for the Giants. Conforto was one of the hottest hitters on the planet in May. Manaea and Rogers started to figure things out. Haniger returned and has been steadily improving. And after many IL stints, the team finally started to get healthy. Now everything is clicking: LaMonte Wade Jr. is second in the Majors in on-base percentage, Thairo Estrada is flirting with stardom, and J.D. Davis has transformed from an awful defender into a Gold Glove candidate at third. Conforto and Joc Pederson are cooking, Schmitt and Bailey are still going strong, and the bullpen has seen a transformation and turned into a weapon. The Giants might be bound for another .500 season, but they look the part of a team that’s about to take off. After ending April with an 11-16 record, they went 17-12 in May, and look primed to compete for a Wild Card spot.

Fun fact

In 2013, the Cubs swept a three-game series at San Francisco. They have not won any of eight subsequent series there, overall going 8-18 in regular season games. From 2014-17, they won the opener of each series, then lost twice. They went 1-2 again in 2018, winning the middle game, and in 2019, winning the finale. The last two seasons, they went 1-3, winning the fourth game in 2021 and the second a year ago. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)

Probable pitching matchups

Friday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (6-4, 2.39 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 3.49 FIP) vs. Anthony DeSclafani, RHP (4-5, 3.97 ERA, 1.123 WHIP, 3.77 FIP)

Saturday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (0-2, 4.70 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 3.74 FIP) vs. TBD

Sunday: Hayden Wesneski, RHP (2-2, 4.79 ERA, 1.217 WHIP, 5.65 FIP) vs. TBD

Obviously, the Giants rotation is in flux. They’ve got some starters on the IL and last time through they used John Brebbia as an opener. “As always, we await developments.”

Times & TV channels

Friday: 9:15 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Saturday: 6:35 p.m. CT, Fox-TV (regional — coverage map)

Sunday: 3:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Giants market territories)


I haven’t been any good at predicting these lately. As noted above, at this time we have no idea what the pitching matchups will be Saturday and Sunday. So all I’m going to say here is that the Cubs have a reasonable chance of winning Friday’s game with Stroman on the mound.

Up next

The Cubs have Monday off, then return to Wrigley Field to host the Pirates in a three-game series beginning Tuesday evening.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Giants?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    (10 votes)
  • 20%
    (24 votes)
  • 43%
    (51 votes)
  • 27%
    (32 votes)
117 votes total Vote Now