The San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs will battle in the second of a three-game series on Wednesday night. The Cubs won the opener by a score of 5-3. Anthony Rizzo has seemed to find his power after a long drought, hitting two homers in the game, and Nicholas Castellanos added another to continue his hot start with Chicago.
Cole Hamels worked his way through six innings, allowing five hits and three runs on two homers. Hamels still wasn’t sharp, but he was much better than his previous two outings. Craig Kimbrel came in to get his 10th save and even hit 97 on the gun as his IL stint seems to have helped his velocity.
San Francisco will send Dereck Rodriguez (5-6, 4.79 ERA) to the mound against Yu Darvish (4-6, 4.21 ERA) on Wednesday. Rodriguez is coming off his best start of the season, throwing seven scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks. Darvish also went seven scoreless in his last start, a 7-5 loss to the Phillies as the bullpen imploded.
The Cubs are the favorites at -210, and the over/under is 9.
Giants Look To Rebound
The Giants are looking to send Bruce Bochy off in style and make a miraculous run to the playoffs. The Giants have lost two in a row after winning six of their previous seven. San Francisco is 63-63 on the season and 34-30 away from home.
Rodriguez will be making his first start against the Cubs. He has only one relief appearance against Chicago, where he threw three scoreless innings. Since the All-Star break, the righty has made three starts totaling 15 innings with a WHIP of 1.20 and an ERA of 3.00.
Giants hitters have not had much success against Darvish. They have a team OPS of only .605 in 76 plate appearances. The only Giant with good numbers is Alex Dickerson, who is 2 for 3 with a double and a home run. Dickerson has been hot since the All-Star break with an OPS of 1.038.
Mike Yastrzemski has also been a bright spot with an OPS of 1.003 and nine doubles and 11 homers in 134 at-bats since the break.
San Francisco has Pablo Sandoval, Shaun Anderson and Steven Duggar on the IL.
Cubs Try To Stay Hot At Home
The Cubs have won six of their last seven at home, and three in a row overall. The Cubs enter with a record of 67-58 and are 42-19 at home. Chicago currently sits a half-game behind the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central.
Since the All-Star break, Darvish has been the pitcher Cubs fans had hoped for when he signed with the team. He has a 0.74 WHIP and 2.36 ERA in seven starts covering 42 innings. Remarkably he has 57 strikeouts and only two walks over that time, impressive considering his control problems of the first half. In two games against the Giants in his career, Darvish is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA.
Cubs hitters have combined for only one hit in 12 at-bats against Rodriguez. The Cubs have hit better against right-handed pitching on the year with an OPS of .791, compared to .757 against lefties.
Castellanos has been all the Cubs had hoped for and more since coming over in a trade. He is hitting .365/.405/.743 with seven homers and seven doubles in 74 at-bats.
Chicago has only Willson Contreras on the IL.
Darvish has been one of the best pitchers in the game since the break. Although the Cubs haven’t had a lot of success against Rodriguez, their offense has been good at home. The Cubs are just a different team at home, and I like their streak to continue. I am on the Cubs at -210, and I also like the under 9 as well.