On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Giants series preview

Here’s another team the Cubs haven’t played in a while — in more than a calendar year, to be specific. The last game between these clubs was July 11, 2018, before the 2018 All-Star break.

To update us on the Giants, here’s Bryan Murphy of our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles:

The Giants are 50-50, which is just about the odds most of us around here would give them if you were to ask us if their current run is sustainable. I’m not talking about maintaining an .833 winning percentage over these next 62, though, I’m talking about just being a competitive team. That has been the greatest part of the Giants’ 28-16 run since June 1: they’ve played competitive baseball. Cubs fans might take that for granted, but Giants fans can no longer afford to. Ever since the second half of 2016, this team has been a tough watch, but they’ve started to play a lot better. Maybe not “they’re going to the Wild Card game”-better, but this isn’t the same roster or style of play that closed the final month of last season with a 5-21 record.

They’re doing it with solid starting pitching (worth 3 fWAR over the last 30 days) and at least a league average lineup (they’ve scored the most runs in baseball over that same mark), but that’s just what stands out right now. All year long, the bullpen has been stellar. Will Smith is 26-for-28 in save opportunities, Sam Dyson has a sub-10 K/9 but gets ground balls 55% of the time on balls in play and doesn’t give up many home runs (9.4% HR/FB), a trait shared by Reyes Moronta (6.8%) and Trevor Gott (7.9%).

Offensively, the core of the Giants’ roster — Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Evan Longoria — has either rotted or gone to the IL, leaving castoffs and rookies to try to remake this team into something resembling league average. They’ve received a huge boost from Padres DFA-ee Alex Dickerson who, in his first 76 PA after joining the team, was hitting .412/.474/.794. He’s scuffled a bit over over the last three games (the Giants are still 2-1 in those games and 17-7 since he joined the team), giving other fill-ins opportunities to be the hero. Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of Carl, hit Sunday’s walk-off home run, his ninth of the year; Stephen Vogt has been a perfectly average backup catcher in all aspects of his game; Donovan Solano has excelled in a small sample size; Zach Green had two hits in his major league debut yesterday; Kevin Pillar is the team leader in RBI and batting average. He’s also been a serviceable center fielder on the year.

The past few weeks feel like the Giants have finally realized that this is Bruce Bochy’s final season and have risen to the occasion.

Fun fact

The Giants are just 23-27 at home this year, but have won seven of their last 10 home games. They are 14-3 in July (the Cubs, by comparison, are 9-6 this month).

Pitching matchups

Monday: Alec Mills, RHP (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 5.89 FIP) vs. Shaun Anderson, RHP (3-2, 4.87 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 4.38 FIP)

Tuesday: Yu Darvish, RHP (3-4, 4.46 ERA, 1.239 WHIP, 4.89 FIP) vs. Madison Bumgarner, LHP (5-7, 3.65 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, 3.70 FIP)

Wednesday: Jon Lester, LHP (9-6, 3.87 ERA, 1.346 WHIP, 4.20 FIP) vs. Tyler Beede, RHP (3-3, 4.70 ERA, 1.433 WHIP, 4.96 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Monday: 8:45 p.m. CT, WGN

Tuesday: 8:45 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago

Wednesday: 2:45 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Giants market territories)

Prediction

I like these pitching matchups, and at some point the Cubs are going to have to start winning road games if they want to take the N.L. Central. They’ll win two of three.

Up next

The Cubs have Thursday off, then head to Milwaukee for a three-game series against the Brewers beginning Friday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Giants?

  • 22%

    3

    (32 votes)

  • 46%

    2

    (67 votes)

  • 24%

    1

    (35 votes)

  • 6%

    0

    (9 votes)



143 votes total

Vote Now

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