The San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs will open a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night. The Giants took two of three from the Cubs in their previous series this season in July.
Not Dead Yet
The Giants are now 63-62 after going 19-6 in July, as they have really bounced back in a big way over the last few months. They now are in second place in the NL West, 18.5 games behind the Dodgers, who have the second-best record in baseball. The Giants will be on the road for this series against Chicago, where they are 34-29 this season.
Getting the start for the Giants in this series opener will be Tyler Beede. Beede has given up 22 earned runs over 23 1/3 innings pitched in his last five starts. His record has dropped to 3-7 this season with a 5.77 ERA and 81 strikeouts.
Obviously, the 26-year-old is in a slump of epic proportions that he will look to bounce out of in this game. He started the season strong for the Giants and began his slump when the rest of his team was on the rise, which allowed him to work through it and hopefully get back on track.
The Giants have gotten most of their offensive production from their centerfielder, Kevin Pillar. In his last game on Saturday, Pillar went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. He leads the team in batting average with .261, home runs with 17, and runs batted in with 68.
Fighting For The Top Spot
The Cubs are still battling with the Cardinals and Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central, as every day you check it seems a different team is in first, and all teams are usually within two games, making for an exciting season. Chicago is currently 66-58 after picking up its first road series victory in what seems like forever against the Pirates. Look for that series to give the team a boost as they come back home to face the Giants, where they are significantly better, going 41-19 this season.
Getting the start for the Cubs in this game will be left-hander Cole Hamels. The veteran was picked up by Chicago last year and has been impressive since day one. He was recently out with an injury, and his first game back was extremely rough, as he allowed eight runs over just two innings of work. Hamels will definitely be looking to get back to his winning ways and take the pressure off of the Cubs’ injured and unimpressive bullpen. Hamels is now 6-4 this season with a 3.69 ERA and 107 strikeouts.
The stars have stepped up and got the job done offensively for Chicago so far this season. Aside from Willson Contreras, the Cubs have been lucky to not have a ton of injuries in their lineup so far. Kris Bryant has gotten back to playing some of his better baseball, and he currently leads the team with his .289 batting average. While Javier Baez leads the Cubs with 28 home runs, the team has three different players with more than 25 home runs, which is the earliest in a season they have had that since the 1990s.
What To Expect
While Hamels had a tough time in his last game, this seems like a perfect game for him to bounce back and shut the Giants down as the Cubs come back home where they have been so dominating. Chicago is coming off a good road series and will carry momentum into this game to get the win.