Cubs at Giants Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 7/26/2013
This could be one of the best weeks the Chicago Cubs have had in years, and it has squat to do with what happens on the field. On Monday, the Cubs were able to land a pretty impressive haul of prospects from the Texas Rangers for pitcher Matt Garza, who will become a free agent after this season. On Wednesday, the Cubs got two more pieces of good news. The team's $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field was finally approved after years of wrangling with the city of Chicago. Work will start right after the season -- it will take years to finish it all -- and should result in increased revenue streams for the team right away. Ownership has promised to funnel much of that back into the club.
Also Wednesday, Alfonso Soriano told the Cubs he would waive his no-trade clause to go to the Yankees. Soriano, 37, began his career with the Yankees. Now, the Cubs won't get much back for Soriano but will get some salary relief. It also allows Chicago to get some youngsters playing time, guys like Junior Lake. The irony of Friday's series opener in San Francisco is that the Giants had agreed to trade for Soriano last summer, but Soriano wouldn't waive his trade rights then. I would be shocked if Soriano is in the lineup Friday night in the series opener at AT&T Park.
We all knew the Cubs were not going to be very competitive this year, but do you realize they have the same winning percentage as the reigning World Series Champion Giants entering Thursday's action? (Cubs finished a series in Arizona, while Giants were off). That's pretty stunning. It might be time for San Francisco to wave the white flag on this season. They are 7.5 games out of the NL West lead and barely ahead of the last-place Padres. The second wild-card spot is much further away. You hear rumors of perhaps outfielder Hunter Pence and pitchers Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez being dealt. All three will be free agents after the season. San Francisco is plenty good to contend again next year, so why not dump those three and help build up a farm system that has been depleted?
Cubs at Giants Betting Story Lines
Lake has been terrific in his six big-league games entering Thursday, hitting .519 with two homers and an OPS of 1.388. Obviously that won't continue, but Chicago might have a keeper. The Cubs really could be something in 2015 with a suddenly loaded minor-league system. Chicago also got outfielder David DeJesus off the DL on Wednesday. He had been out since June 14 and would also have some trade value. So does right fielder Nate Schierholtz, who had a career-high five RBI on Wednesday.
Chicago starts right-hander Edwin Jackson (6-11, 5.03) on Friday, one of the few players on the team not available for trade. Check that, no one would take him after signing a four-year, $52 million contract this past offseason. That moved looked like a major flop, but Jackson has been much better after a terrible start. Jackson had won his past three starts before allowing three earned runs over seven innings in a loss at Colorado last time out. He hasn't allowed more than three earned in his past four. Jackson faced the Giants on April 14 at Wrigley and allowed five runs while striking out a season-high nine in 5.1 innings of a no-decision. Pablo Sandoval owns Jackson, hitting .545 with a homer and five RBI in 11 at-bats. Marco Scutaro is 8-for-26 with two homers and five RBI off Jackson. The Giants offense has been quiet since the break, scoring more than four runs once.
The Giants counter with Matt Cain (6-6, 5.00), who pretty much summarizes the team's pitching problems this year. He might have been close to losing his rotation spot with two terrible starts before the break where he didn't last more than 2.1 innings in either, but he was solid last time out, allowing two runs and four hits in five innings of a win against Arizona. When Cain pitches well this year, he's usually excellent. But when he's off, he's really bad. Cain pitched well April 12 at Wrigley, allowing two runs in seven innings of a no-decision. He is 6-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 95 career innings against Chicago. DeJesus is 6-for-15 with two homers off Cain. Anthony Rizzo struggles against him, going 1-for-14 with six strikeouts.
Cubs at Giants MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Giants opened at -175 and the Cubs at +165 with a total of 7. All Cubs trends entering Thursday: Chicago is 48-47-4 “over/under” (22-27-2 on road) and 61-38 on the runline. San Francisco is 52-45-4 O/U (25-22-4 at home) and 38-63 on the runline.
The Cubs have won their past five series openers. Chicago is 3-7 in Jackson's past 10 against teams with a losing record. The Giants are 2-8 in their past 10 series openers. San Francisco is 1-4 in its past five after an off day. The Giants are 1-6 in their past seven home games against righty starters. They are 0-4 in Cain's past four against teams with a losing record. The over is 10-2-1 in Chicago's past 13 against teams with a losing record. The over is 9-3 in Chicago's past 12 road games against righty starters. The over is 12-3-2 in Cain's past 17 at home. The over is 7-1 in the Giants' past seven vs. a team with a losing record. The Cubs are 2-10 in the past 12 meetings. The Giants are 5-0 in Cain's past five at home vs. Chicago.
Cubs at Giants Picks and MLB Betting Predictions
The Giants took three of four in the first meeting of the series, and the Cubs never play well at San Francisco -- they were swept four there a year ago. Add in Soriano likely out and the Cubs having to travel overnight with the Giants home resting, and I love San Francisco (even on runline at +120). Also take the under.
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