Giants vs. Cubs Odds, Preview, Prediction: The Smart Way to Bet Friday’s Matinee (Sept. 10)
Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Buster Posey
Giants vs. Cubs Odds
|Time||2:20 p.m. ET|
The San Francisco Giants have been the best and most surprising team in baseball this year. Picked by most to finish third in their own division, the Giants have the best record in the entire league and have played like the best team all season.
Five years removed from their drought-ending World Series victory, the Cubs decided to strip things down and start over. They traded away franchise core pieces Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and sent Kris Bryant to the Giants.
Friday afternoon will be Bryant’s first return to Wrigley Field and he is sure to get roaring standing ovation. San Francisco is 3-1 in their four meetings with Chicago already this season.
So where’s the value in this afternoon matchup? Let’s break down both teams.
The Giants Dominate in Multiple Areas
San Francisco will go with a bullpen game on Friday, with Dominic Leone (RHP) expected to get the ball first. Leone was signed to a minor league contract this offseason and began the year in Triple-A. The Giants selected his contract on June 1 and he has been with the big club since.
Since being called up to the show, Leone has been terrific. He has made 44 appearances, going 3-3 with a 1.55 ERA. In 40.2 innings pitched this year he has allowed just seven earned runs and a .177 batting average against. He will likely only pitch an inning or two, and then be followed by the best bullpen in the league, with a 3.08 ERA among their relievers.
The Giants have been the surprising story of the league this year, and it’s not just their pitching staff that has been great. The offense has also gotten it done and ranks sixth in the league in wOBA and wRC+ on the year.
It has been the old guys leading the way for San Francisco who have been led by 34-year-old Buster Posey, 34-year-old Brandon Crawford and 33-year-old Brandon Belt.
Chicago’s Pitching Has Been Shaky
The once steady and reliable Kyle Hendricks (RHP) has had a bit of a rough season. His 14-6 record is respectable, but his 4.65 ERA is the highest of his career, by far. His expected ERA is even higher at 4.97.
Hendricks ranks in the bottom 10% of the league this season, with opponents posting a .276 xBA and .346 xwOBA against him. His 16.9 K% is also in the bottom 10% of all pitchers.
Chicago dismantled their best offenses weapons during the trade deadline and has ranked 20th in wOBA and 22nd in wRC+ since the July 30 deadline.
The trades did allow for the emergence of first baseman Frank Schwindel who was called from Triple-A Iowa to replace Rizzo at first base. Since the deadline, Schwindel is batting .354 with a 1.066 OPS and 180 wRC+.
Even as of Friday morning, lines for this game have still not been posted at some books as the Giants have yet to confirm who will actually make the start for them.
Since we aren’t sure who San Francisco is going to go with on the mound, we will just focus on their offense and fading Hendricks.
Hendricks has struggled at Wrigley Field this season, and has pitched to a 5.56 ERA at home, allowing opponents to bat .297 against him. In his last three home starts he has allowed 19 total runs, and gave up six runs to the lowly Pirates in his most recent outing.
In six starts since the beginning of August, Hendricks has pitched to an 8.44 ERA and is struggling with walks and home runs. Behind Hendricks is the 24th ranked bullpen over the last 30 days.
Play San Francisco’s team total over 5 at -110 on FanDuel and expect them to jump on Hendricks early.
Pick: San Francisco Giants Team Total over 5