Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#959 San Francisco Giants 9.5 vs.
#960 Chicago Cubs -190
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 8:05pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The San Francisco Giants will travel on the road to Wrigley Field on Tuesday evening for the opening game of their three-game National League series showdown versus the Chicago Cubs.

These two teams are still fighting for a playoff spot in a heated National League postseason race. The Cubs are currently tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the top spot in the NL Central standings, but would drop down to the final Wild Card spot in the NL if the season were to end today. Meanwhile, the Giants remain within striking distance of the final Wild Card spot, as they head into the week just 3.5-games behind the Cubs. Can San Francisco cut into their deficit in the Wild Card standings with a victory on the road over the Cubs on Tuesday evening?

Beede seeks turnaround versus Cubsr

San Francisco was unable to complete a four-game sweep versus the division-rival Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, taking three straight before losing the series finale on Sunday. That will make this week’s series against the Cubs arguably their biggest three-game series of the year. Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy, who is retiring at the end of the season, is well-aware of the importance of his team’s impending series versus the Cubs, saying “We’ll head to Chicago, take a day off and regroup, and it’s going to be another big series.”

San Francisco will turn to rookie right-hander Tyler Beede on Tuesday as they try to keep pace in the Wild Card race. Beede has had a tough time adjusting to being a full-time starter in the big leagues, going 3-7 with a 5.77 ERA in 17 games (15 starts) this season. Times have been even tougher as of late for the Giants’ right-hander, who has allowed four earned runs or more in five consecutive starts. During that span, the 26-year-old is 0-4 with an 8.49 ERA and he’s allowed eight home runs over his last 23 ⅓ innings of work. 

Beede has made one start versus the Cubs already this season, allowing four earned runs and three home runs in just 5 ⅔ frames. According to Baseball Savant, current Cubs are hitting .353 in 18 plate appearances off the Giants’ right-hander heading into Tuesday’s contest. 

Hamels battling mechanical issues since return from IL

When the Cubs acquired Detroit Tigers’ slugger Nicholas Castellanos during the final minutes of the July 31 trade deadline, the 27-year-old outfielder was in the midst of a very pedestrian season. Prior to the deal, Castellanos was hitting .273 with a .790 OPS and only 11 home runs, but the change of scenery seems to have worked wonders for the former Tigers outfielder. In 17 games with the Cubs, he is batting a healthy .348 with a 1.102 OPS and six home runs, while more than half (13) of his 24 hits have gone for extra-bases. Castellanos, who was viewed as a short-term rental by teams heading into the deadline, has injected instant offense into a Cubs’ lineup that ranks 20th in runs scored since the All-Star Break. 

Chicago is scheduled to hand the ball to left-handed veteran Cole Hamels on Tuesday for their series opener versus the Giants. In 20 starts this season, Hamels has compiled a 6-4 overall record to go along with a 3.69 ERA, however, he’s been working through some mechanical issues since coming off the injured list. Over his last two starts, Hamels has surrendered a whopping 13 runs (12 earned) in just five combined innings of work (21.60 ERA). The 35-year-old lefty is fresh off his worst start of the season last time out versus the Philadelphia Phillies, as he surrendered eight runs on nine hits in just two innings of work to lose his second straight decision. 

Hamels will be happy to return back to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, where he’s posted a solid 2.35 ERA in nine home starts. The veteran ace has yet to face the Giants in 2019 and his last start against San Francisco came way back in the 2015 season. Hamels has made 16 career starts versus the Giants, going 6-4 with a 4.33 ERA. 

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The Giants have really struggled in this series, especially on the road at Wrigley Field, winning just three of the last 17 meetings in Chicago. Beede has battled his way through a difficult first season as a full-time starter for the Giants and he’s struggled with the long ball since the All-Star Break, giving up nine home runs over his last 38 innings of work. The Cubs got the better of him once already this year, and despite his recent struggles, Hamels has been tough to beat a home this year. The Cubs’ lefty owns a 2.35 ERA in nine home starts in 2019, so I’ll take my chances with the Cubs on the run line in this NL series showdown at Wrigley Field on Tuesday evening.

Prediction: Chicago Cubs -1.5

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The under is 8-2-2 in the last 12 meetings between these two teams at Wrigley Field, but that trend should not continue here. Hamels enters this game off his worst start of the season and he’s posted an unsightly 21.60 ERA over his last two starts overall. On the other hand, Beede has not been able to keep the ball in the park over his last five starts, allowing eight home runs in his last 23 ⅓  innings of work. Look for runs to come early and often in this game and take the over in this battle between two potential NL Wild Card teams on Tuesday night. 

Prediction: Over
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.