wrigley stands crowdThe 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.

Game Info

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.

The Series Preview lives hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

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:

  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Brandon Belt, 1B
  3. Buster Posey, C
  4. Hunter Pence, RF
  5. Brandon Crawford, SS
  6. Angel Pagan, LF
  7. Connor Gillaspie, 3B
  8. Joe Panik, 2B
  9. Jeff Samardzija, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist, LF
  5. Addison Russell, SS
  6. Jason Heyward, RF
  7. Javy Baez, 2B
  8. Willson Contreras, C
  9. Kyle Hendricks, P

Keep Reading BN ...

« | »