The Chicago Cubs will try to keep pace with the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central race when they host the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night. Chicago won the opener of the three-game series on Tuesday night to remain a half-game behind the Cardinals as well as hold onto its two-game lead for the second Wild Card spot in the National League over the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.
San Francisco has now lost two straight and has fallen 4.5 games behind the Cubs for that Wild Card spot. The Giants also have the Brewers and Diamondbacks to leapfrog over to get to the playoff spot, though that’s an easier task than catching up in the National League West. San Francisco is now in third place in the division, 19.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The moneyline for this contest has the San Francisco Giants +195 and the Chicago Cubs -230. The over/under for this game is 9.
Dereck Rodriguez gets the start for the Giants, his fourth straight start and 12th of the season among 21 appearances. Rodriguez has earned wins in two of his last three starts to improve to 5-6 on the season with a 4.79 ERA. He’s coming off a gem of a performance in his last start, going seven innings and holding Arizona to just three hits and no runs. He’ll need his best stuff against a Cubs team that plays much better at home.
Offensively, it’s been a struggle for San Francisco for much of the season, though they came into this series having scored 29 runs in a four-game series with the Diamondbacks. Kevin Pillar hit his team-leading 18th home run of the season in the opener. He also paces the Giants with a .261 batting average and 69 RBI. Rookie Mike Yastrzemski has shown some power, ranking second on the team with 16 home runs despite playing in only 73 games this season.
Day And Night
Cubs starter Yu Darvish has been great since the All-Star break, going 2-2 but also giving up just 11 earned runs in seven starts, eight of those coming in two games. He’s also struck out at least six in every game, including 10 in his last start in which he shut out the Phillies for seven innings. One of those starts in which he gave up four runs was a six-inning stint against the Giants in late July. On the season, Darvish is now 4-6 with a 4.21 ERA.
Chicago has been a different team at home this season, notching a 42-19 record at Wrigley Field compared to its 25-39 mark on the road. Anthony Rizzo showed his power in the opener of the series, hitting two home runs to bring his season total to 25. Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber each have 28 to lead the team, as the Cubs have eight players with double-digit home runs on the season. Nicholas Castellanos has 18 on the season, though many of them came before he was traded from Detroit. Still, he’s been one of the team’s hot hitters, batting .333 and hitting two home runs over the last week.
Cubs Win Again
Darvish has been pitching much better in recent weeks, and that trend should continue in this one. San Francisco just doesn’t have a lot of offense, and the Cubs are a different team when playing at home. I’m going with Chicago -230 to win on Wednesday.