Chicago Cubs (59-52) vs. San Francisco Giants (44-70)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, August 9th, 3:45 pm EST
Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.81 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (1-5, 2.88 ERA)
Line: San Francisco -105/Chicago Cubs -105
The Cubs and Giants close out a three game series in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon. This is a rematch of a tense division series last year where the Giants had a three run in the ninth inning with a chance to send it back to Chicago for a pivotal fifth game. Instead, the Giants collapsed in the ninth, and the Cubs scored four runs to win the game and the series. It’s a marquee matchup of pitchers despite the fact that they have own five games all season.
The loss was a precursor to what has been the year from hell from the Giants, currently 26 games under .500. The Cubs have had a down year as well, after winning the World Series, but they still lead the weak NL Central by 1.5 games. However, they don’t look nearly as good as the Dodgers or the Nationals right now.
Hendricks gets the call
Kyle Hendricks finished in third place for the Cy Young last year and pitched very well in the playoffs for the Cubbies as well. Unfortunately, he has been hurt for a lot of 2017 and he’s only notched four wins thus far this year. He hasn’t been terrible as his ERA is a reasonable 3.88, but he certainly hasn’t looked as good as last year where he carried a low two ERA for almost the whole year.
Wednesday will be his 15th start of the year, and the Cubs will certainly forget about his struggles if he manages to pick it up down the stretch. He’s looked pretty good over his last three starts, giving up only five earned runs total. His WHIP is 1.22 and batters are only hitting .244 against him, so you know he still has good stuff.
Bad year for MadBum
So much has gone wrong this year for the Giants, that it’s hard to know where to lay the blame, but the injury to Madison Bumgarner has to rank near the top. The season had just started and while the Giants didn’t look great, they were nothing like the team they have turned into. Now, Bumgarner is back, but the season was lost several months ago.
Despite only having one win, he’s actually pitched really well. The Giants have no offense to speak of, so you can’t hold that against Bumgarner. He’s got an ERA of 2.88 and he’s making his tenth start of the season on Wednesday. He’s got a very impressive strikeout to walk ratio of 56 to 11. He’s allowed more than three run only once in his nine starts this year.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 4-9 in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- 5-12 in their last 17 vs. National League West.
- 1-7 in their last 8 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
The San Francisco Giants are:
- 8-3 in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
- 6-2 in their last 8 vs. National League Central.
It’s hard to know what to bet on when Madison Bumgarner pitches. He’s been great ERA wise with an ERA under three, but his record is 1-5. We know he’s a big game pitcher and with this maybe being one of his last high profile games, I think he pitches well. I’ll take the Giants.