The Cubs must go on the road but get a favorable matchup against the San Francisco Giants. San Francisco is a perennial playoff contender but has been poor this season. The Giants are reduced to the role of spoiler in this contest and hope to make it tougher on the Cubs down the stretch by winning this series.
Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants
Dates: Monday, August 7, 2017 – Thursday, August 10, 2017
Location: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
The Giants have the third-worst record in the major leagues after years of winning championships and constantly being in the playoff hunt. The offense has been a major issue, and the high-priced pitching staff hasn’t lived up to expectations.
Chicago hasn’t done as well as hopes with a record of 58-52, but the division is down this year, which has kept it in first place. The Cubs have a talented nucleus but many players are underperforming. Everyone needs to turn it up down the stretch for the team to become a legitimate contender for a second straight title. Chicago started the second half strong but has lost four of five.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Monday, August 7, 2017, 10:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Matt Moore (Giants) vs. Jake Arrieta (Cubs)
Moore was once a top prospect but that sheen has worn off. He is 3-11 on the season with a 5.80 ERA. Moore is allowing a .293 batting average against and not striking out batters at the clip he used to. He is no longer considered a potential star and could have trouble in this one.
Arrieta is 10-8 with a 3.88 ERA. He struggled early but has only allowed nine earned runs over his past six starts, dropping his ERA by nearly a full run. His strikeout rate is strong and it seemed to be only a matter of time until Arrieta hit his stride.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 10:15 p.m. ET (MLB Network)
Ty Blach (Giants) vs. Jose Quintana (Cubs)
Blach is 7-7 with a 4.24 ERA. He has only allowed four earned runs over his past two starts, which spanned 15 innings, but he has a poor strikeout rate and may not be able to keep it up. Blach is a borderline starter and the Cubs need to take advantage by hitting him hard.
Quintana was acquired from the White Sox and pitched well in his first three starts with the team, but gave up six earned runs in five innings last time out against the Diamondbacks. He is 6-9 with a 4.42 ERA on the season but is one of the better pitchers in the majors and should fare well down the stretch.
Game 3 Probable Pitchers – Wednesday, August 9, 2017, 3:45 p.m. ET (MLB Network)
Madison Bumgarner (Giants) vs. Kyle Hendricks (Cubs)
The Giants are happy to see Bumgarner back on the mound after he missed several weeks after getting injured in an ATV accident. The San Francisco ace is 1-5 with a 2.88 ERA on the year and has been really strong in his past two outings. This is the one game of the series in which the Giants have the starting pitching advantage.
It’s not a big one, as the Cubs will counter with Hendricks, who is 4-4 with a 3.81 ERA. He isn’t a power arm but Hendricks has impressive control and could have a nice outing against the feeble San Francisco offense. Chicago needs to win this series in order to stay ahead of Milwaukee, and while the games are on the road, the Cubs are the better team. Check to see what the odds on each of these games comes in at from different top-rated sportsbooks.