San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs
Date and Time: Monday, May 22, 2017, 8:05 p.m. ET
Location: Wrigley Field
Probable Pitchers: Ty Blach vs. Kyle Hendricks
Giants vs. Cubs TV Coverage: MLB Network
The Giants season looked all but lost a couple weeks back when it got swept in Cincinnati and then dropped two of three to the Mets in New York. Since then, Bruce Bochy’s squad has secured wins in five of its last seven games and took both series against the Dodgers and Reds. Heading into Friday’s opener, San Francisco sat eight-games under .500 and in fourth place in the NL West.
Buster Posey and his mates have won 11 of their 21 played games in front of the hometown faithful, but the reason for the poor starts has been because of its poor play on the road. At 6-15 overall, the Giants have cost MLB bettors upwards of $930 when in the visitor’s role. It won’t get any easier in that department right now with three games scheduled in St. Louis before heading to Chicago for four.
One of the main keys to the Cubs success last season was the team’s ability to destroy all opposition in run differential. When the book closed on 2016, the Cubs outscored their opponents by a whopping 270 runs. So far through their first 40 games of 2017, Joe Maddon’s squad has only outscored its opponents by 12 runs. That right there tells you all you need to know about why Chicago only sits two games over .500 heading into its weekend set with the first place Brewers ( +29 RD ).
It’s only a matter of time until the offense finds its groove, and it may have already started with Javy Baez and his mates outscoring Cincinnati 25-15 in a three-game sweep last week. As it is, the Cubs rank No. 7 in scoring offense ( 4.9 RPG ), but only No. 18 in OPS and No. 14 in home runs. It’s getting warmer in Chicago, so more offense looks to be on the horizon.
Ty Blach – The lefty has done an admirable job filling in for the injured Madison Bumgarner going 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA and 1.18 WHIP through five starts. He’s been the beneficiary of having four of those outings occur in the comforts of AT&T Park which is one of the better pitching parks in the league. His lone road start saw him get ripped for 11 hits ( 2 HR ) and 8 ER at Cincinnati. Chicago’s 6-3 and averaging 6.3 runs per game versus lefties, so this isn’t the greatest of matchups.
Kyle Hendricks – The Professor looks to once again be teaching. The righty got out to a slow start to 2017 by failing to produce a quality effort in his first three starts, but he once again looks to be dialed in with four of his last five being of quality. His last two starts saw him give up 10 hits and 4 ER to the powerful offenses of the Rockies and Reds. He’s only allowed 18 hits and 8 ER in night games, and will be looking for his first ever quality start against San Francisco in his ninth start of the year.
Giants vs. Cubs Picks
Don’t buy into the Giants recent run of solid play. They’re not a good baseball team. They’re a year older and a year slower, and the offense is flat out terrible. Blach better hope the wind is blowing in. If it’s not, he won’t be long for this one. Hendricks is by far the more complete pitcher, and he’s got by far the better offense backing him up. San Francisco will no doubt take the field looking to avenge their NLDS loss on the odds at BookMaker.eu to the Cubs, but wanting something and actually going out and getting it are two completely different things. Look for Rizzo and company to get this extended series off on the right foot with a commanding series opening win.
Giants vs. Cubs Pick: Bet the Cubs at BookMaker.eu
Giants vs. Cubs Score Prediction: Chicago 8 – San Francisco 3