The San Francisco Giants (50-51, 28-23 home) battle the Chicago Cubs (41-59, 21-27 away) in the series finale of a four-game set between two National League foes. San Francisco owns a 2-1 advantage over the Cubs in the head-to-head series this year.
Sunday’s first pitch is at 7 p.m. EST at Oracle Park in San Francisco, California. The Giants open as the betting favorite at -190, and the over-under total is 7.5 runs.
What to Know – Chicago Cubs
Chicago comes into Sunday’s tilt, winning six of its first eight games to begin the second half of the season. The Cubs sit in third place in the NL Central, 15.5 games back of the leading Milwaukee Brewers.
Right-hander Adrian Sampson (0-1, 3.20 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) gets the ball on the mound for the visitors. The 30-year-old looks for his first victory of the season after posting back-to-back quality starts in no decisions over his last two outings. Sampson has thrown 39.1 innings this year, allowing 14 earned runs on 37 hits and nine walks while striking out 26 batters.
The Cubs lack firepower offensively, having traded away the heart of their order last season as the franchise begins a rebuild. Patrick Wisdom paces the lineup with 19 home runs and 50 runs batting in, while Ian Happ is second on the team with 46 RBIs. Wilson Contreras is the only other bat in the lineup with double-digit home runs at 14.
Chicago scores 4.3 runs per game behind an offense that is 15th in the MLB, hitting .245 as a team. The Cubs pitching staff ranks 25th in the majors with a 4.35 team earned run average.
What to Know – San Francisco Giants
San Francisco has won two of its last three games after dropping seven straight to fall below .500 for the first time this season. The Giants remain in third place in the NL West, trailing the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Southpaw Carlos Rodon (8-6, 3.18 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) looks to keep the Giants on the right track. The 29-year-old looks to right the ship on the hill after back-to-back outings surrendering five earned runs. Rodon has pitched 116.0 innings this year, surrendering 41 earned runs, 91 hits, and 39 walks while striking out 148 batters.
Wilmer Flores continues his assault at the dish for the Giants. Flores leads the team with 55 RBIs and is second on the team with 15 home runs. Joc Pederson is right behind Flores with 43 RBIs, and Thairo Estrada has 41 runs driven in.
The Giants sit 23rd in the league, batting .235 as a team and average 4.6 runs per contest. San Francisco’s pitching staff ranks 12th in the MLB with a 3.88 team ERA.
The Pick is In
The Cubs and Giants play their series finale in front of a national audience on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Rodon has been underwhelming lately, but the southpaw faces a perfect lineup to get things figured out on the mound.
We like San Francisco to roll in this one behind a strong performance on the mound by Rodon.
The Pick: San Francisco Giants ML