By Hector Duran
I guess Cubs -1.5 was the move to make, but that was a little closer than I would have liked. The Cubs were able to win by a final score of 5-3, and they were also able to keep pace with the Cardinals who also won last night beating the Brewers. The Brewers are now 4 games back and have lost 3 in a row. Going back to the Cubs, it was good to see Anthony Rizzo find his power stroke again as he clubbed 2 long solo home runs. Hopefully he can keep it up as we head into September. Cole Hamels was meh going 6 innings giving up 5 hits, 3 runs, and 2 walks while striking out 5. The bullpen with the combination of Kyle Ryan, Rowan Wick, and Craig Kimbrel were all able to combine for 3 scoreless innings and only giving up 1 hit.
Line: Giants (+200); Cubs (-220)
O/U: 9; Over (-115); Under (-105)
First Pitch: 7:05pm; Wrigley Field; Chicago, IL
San Francisco Giants
The Giants look to get back on track and they will send out Dereck Rodriguez who comes in with a 5-6 record and a 4.79 ERA. He has bounced around between the starting rotation and the bullpen all season, but it looks like he will finish the season in the rotation. In his last start out he went 7 innings against the Diamondbacks giving up 3 hits, no runs, and only walking 1 batter while striking out 4. As a team, the Giants are only slugging .404 which is good for 26th in the MLB. Their on base percentage is .307 which ranks 24th. This team has struggled all season to be able to score runs and the runs they scored last night were just bad pitches by Hamels and he knew it.
Yu Darvish will take the ball for game 2 of the series. Darvish has a 4-6 record and a 4.21 ERA. He has been pitching very well as of late so I am excited to see if he can keep it going tonight. Being that the Cubs do not have much experience facing Rodriguez, it will be interesting to see what the game plan for them will be. They can either work the count and get his pitch count up or they can jump on the first pitch and try to get to him early. Nicholas Castellanos has paid dividends thus far as he is hitting .357 over his last 7 games.
Analysis and Prediction
Until the Cubs lose at home, there is no reason to bet against the north siders. Cubs -220 will be the play for tonight. This is Joe Maddon’s “American Legion” week which means the guys come in late to the stadium, they do not take batting practice, and it is pretty much an easy-going week of just the game of baseball. The Cubs are 21-3 during American Legion week and Joe Maddon has done this every season since he has taken over the skipper position for the Cubs.