The Chicago Cubs will host the San Francisco Giants eyeing a 2-0 series lead before leaving the comforts of Wrigley Field for AT&T Park.
Much like Game 1, Saturday’s tilt features a dynamic pitching matchup.
Kyle Hendricks has been superb across the board this season. The MLB-best 2.13 ERA is eye-catching, but he also finished the season ranked with the highest percentage of soft-hit balls and the fourth lowest percentage of hard-hit balls to go along with MLB’s fourth best FIP, 15th best xFIP and 21st best groundball rate.
As I was saying, pretty good across the board.
Michael highlighted a Kyle Hendricks must-read piece today and if you should go ahead and give it a read if you have time before tonight’s game.
Opposing Hendricks in search of a Wrigley Field split is a familiar foe in Jeff Samardzija, who logged more than 200 innings for the fourth consecutive season. Samardzija finished the season strong, posting a 2.86 ERA/2.99 FIP/3.47 xFIP in his final 11 starts. Prior to that run of brilliance, Samardzija owned a 4.30 ERA/4.30 FIP/4.22 xFIP in 21 starts.
Samardzija has added a new wrinkle to watch for in a curveball, which had been shelved since the 2012 season. Since July 24, Samardzija’s curveball has been the second most-used pitch (18.2 percent) in his arsenal. And using FanGraphs’ linear pitch weights, it has been his most effective pitch registering a 6.5 wCB.
If the Cubs can lay off the split and solve the resurrected curve, they could put themselves in a good enough spot to grasp a 2-0 series lead.
San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs (CHI Leads 1-0) – 7:00 CT on MLB Network, 670 The Score, ESPN Radio
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (R): 2.13 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 3.59 xFIP; 3.86 K/BB
Giants: Jeff Samardzija (R): 3.81 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 3.96 xFIP; 3.09 K/BB
San Francisco Giants:
- Denard Span, CF
- Brandon Belt, 1B
- Buster Posey, C
- Hunter Pence, RF
- Brandon Crawford, SS
- Angel Pagan, LF
- Connor Gillaspie, 3B
- Joe Panik, 2B
- Jeff Samardzija, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P