Series Preview: Cubs at Giants, July 9 – July 11, 2018

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Series Preview: Cubs at Giants, July 9 – July 11, 2018

Series Previews

The Cubs really turned things around this weekend, eh? At a certain point on Saturday, it felt like the Cubs might get swept by the Reds for a second consecutive series, and leave the weekend without any starting NL All-Stars. But fast-forward a couple days and the Cubs won twice, and will have a total of three All-Stars (two starters) representing the team in Washington D.C. next week. Awesome.

But before we get there, there’s two more series to go, starting with three against the Giants in San Francisco and three against the Padres in San Diego. It’s a West Coast road trip, which is always tough, but it’s the final six games before the break. Finish strong.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (51-36) just turned around a three-game series win against the Reds with a late comeback on Saturday and a walk-off win on Sunday. They’ve now won three straight series and are 15 games over .500. They’re still 1.5 games out of first, but have the same number of losses as the first-place Brewers.

The San Francisco Giants (47-45) just split a four-game set with the Cardinals after getting swept in three by the Rockies, after sweeping the Diamondbacks. So, you can say they’ve been about a .500 team for a while now, and their record mostly reflects that. As far as the standings go, though, they’re just 3.5 games out of first place, because the NL West has seen a lot of underachievement.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Monday, July 9 at 9:15 CT on CSN-C, MLBN (out-of-market), 670 The Score
  • Tuesday, July 10 at 9:15 CT on ABC-7, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, July 11 at 2:45  CT on CSN-C, MLBN (out-of-market) 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Kyle Hendricks (4.27 ERA, 4.80 FIP; 2.40 K/BB)
  • Jose Quintana (4.22 ERA, 4.71 FIP; 1.95 K/BB)
  • Mike Montgomery (3.68 ERA, 4.08 FIP; 1.96 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Javy Baez
  • 3B – David Bote
  • SS – Addison Russell
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber/Ben Zobrist
  • CF – Albert Almora/Ian Happ
  • RF – Jason Heyward/Ben Zobrist

Unavailable: Anthony Bass, Brian Duensing, Eddie Butler, Justin Hancock, Kris Bryant(?), Yu Darvish

San Francisco Giants

Probable Pitchers:

  • Andrew Suarez (3.92 ERA, 3.56 FIP; 3.19 K/BB)
  • Johnny Cueto (1.95 ERA, 3.55 FIP; 3.50 K/BB)
  • Dereck Rodriguez (3.09 ERA, 3.42 FIP; 3.09  K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Buster Posey
  • 1B – Brandon Belt
  • 2B – Alen Hanson
  • 3B – Pablo Sandoval
  • SS – Brandon Crawford
  • LF – Gorkys Hernandez
  • CF – Steven Duggar
  • RF – Andrew McCutchen

Unavailable: Evan Longoia, Joe Panik, Hunter Strickland, Julian Fernandez

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Pedro Strop has made 36 appearances this season and has allowed an earned run just four times. Three of those four times have been for multiple runs, so his ERA is “up” at 2.50, but still that’s insanely impressive. Most times, when you hand him the ball, no one is touching the plate. Keep it up.

Cubs Player: Anthony Rizzo went 0-10 to close out the Reds series, but actually hit a bit of a hot streak just before that. In the seven games before Saturday, Rizzo recorded 12 hits – 3 for extra bases – in 26 at-bats. It’s been a while since his last homer, though, so expect him to send on deep some time soon. Of course, AT&T Park doesn’t make it easy on lefties.

Giants Pitcher: Johnny Cueto has only started six games this season thanks to injury, but he’s got a 1.95 ERA during those starts. His strikeout rate is way down, but his walk rate is low too and he’s gotten a TON of soft contact this season. He may have missed some time over the past two seasons, but he’s still Johnny Cueto. Don’t expect an easy matchup.

Giants Player: Andrew McCutchen may be only 31 years old, but it appears his career really is slowing down. After relatively falling off the face of the Earth in 2016 (105 wRC+, 1.1 WAR), McCutchen improved last season (122 wRC+, 3.6 WAR), but is down a bit this year (112 wRC+, 1.2 WAR). It’s hard to say he’s not a valuable player, because obviously he is, but he’s just so far away from where he was just four years ago as a perennial MVP candidate. He is working a three-game hit streak, though, so let’s hope he doesn’t rediscover his groove this week, eh?


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.