Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: Wrigley Field
When: Thursday, August 22, 2019, 2:20 pm ET
We have National League baseball to consider for Thursday afternoon when the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs meet for game three of their scheduled three-game series. This preview was written prior to the start of Wednesday’s game between the two clubs and all opinions are based on the stats from Tuesday night’s MLB action.
San Francisco is third in the National League West and right-hander Jeff Samardzija is the Giants probable starter against Chicago. The Cubs are second in the National League Central and righty Kyle Hendricks is Chicago’s probable starter against San Francisco.
Giants Two Game Losing Streak
The Giants have played solid baseball since the All-Star Break but find themselves 19.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the top spot in the National League West but they are just 4.5 games out of the race for one of two National League Wildcards. The Giants have won six of their last 10 games and enter Wednesday hoping to end a two-game losing streak. San Francisco has been outscored this season by 54 runs and has a record of 34-30 away from Oracle Park this season.
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) August 21, 2019
Samardzija (9-9, 3.54) has a 1.12 WHIP and his 4.84 xFIP suggests maybe the “Shark” has been lucky this season and could see some regression at some point this season. Samardzija has allowed five earned runs over his previous 29.1 innings pitched and strikes out 7.67 per nine innings while allowing 2.45 walks and 1.35 bombs allowed per nine innings pitched over 139.2 innings this season.
Chicago has scored 21 runs over their last five games and averaged 5.03 runs per game with 90 home runs at Wrigley Field and has clubbed 155 home runs this season against right-handed pitching.
Cubs Three Game Winning Streak
Chicago is just a half-game behind the St Louis Cardinals for first in the National League Central and if the regular season were to end today, the Cubs would be awarded the second National League Wild Card. I’m sure the Cubs would rather win the NL Central and avoid the one-game playoff but in order to do that, they need to win baseball games. Chicago has lost six of its last 10 games and enter Wednesday riding a three-game winning streak. The Cubs have outscored their opponents by 72 runs and have a 42-19 mark this season at Wrigley Field.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 21, 2019
Hendricks (8-9, 3.37) has a 1.13 WHIP and his 4.44 xFIP suggests maybe the lanky righty has been lucky and could see some regression at some point this season. Hendricks has allowed 10 earned runs over the past 28 innings pitched with seven of those earned runs coming in a disastrous outing against Cincinnati on August 10 at Great American Ball Park. This season Hendricks is striking out 7.59 hitters per nine innings pitched with 1.85 walks and 1.12 home runs per nine innings pitched this season.
San Francisco has scored 32 runs over their last five games and score an average of 5.28 runs per game with 89 bombs away from Oracle Park and has smashed 100 dingers against right-handed pitching this season.
- Cubs are 1-4 in Hendricks’ last 5 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.
- Cubs are 2-8 in Hendricks’ last 10 starts.
- Cubs are 2-8 in Hendricks’ last 10 starts on grass.
- Giants are 7-0 in Samardzija’s last 7 road starts.
- Giants are 4-1 in Samardzija’s last 5 starts.
- Giants are 4-1 in Samardzija’s last 5 starts on grass.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Giants are a good road team, up against a pitcher who has been amazing at home with a 1.98 ERA and a 4-2 record at Wrigley Field this season, but he has gone 2-4 in day games this season. Hendricks has also allowed four bombs over 42 innings pitched during day games this season. If a team is going to have success against Hendricks, day baseball is how to do this.
Samardzija is 6-3 with a 3.79 ERA away from Oracle Park this season, allowing 13 bombs over 73.2 road innings pitched this season. The Shark is 4-4 in day games with a 3.88 ERA over 62.2 innings pitched during day games this season.
I’m leaning heavily on playing the Giants to beat the Cubs Thursday afternoon.
Full-Game Total Pick
Vegas hasn’t posted a total yet but we have two starting pitchers who usually pitch deep into ballgames with nearly elite WHIP numbers on a Thursday afternoon getaway day.
The Giants average 5.28 runs per game away from Oracle Park and while I don’t expect them to reach that average Thursday afternoon, I do expect them to score enough to win this ballgame.
The Cubs have had some trouble scoring runs recently and it won’t get any easier for them with Samardzija wheeling and dealing against a Cubs team with a 22.4 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. I saw the following trends I think might be helpful Thursday.
- Under is 5-1-1 in Hendricks’ last 7 starts vs. Giants.
- Under is 9-2-2 in the last 13 meetings in Chicago.
- Under is 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings.
I’m leaning heavily towards playing the under Thursday afternoon.