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 Giants (@SFGiants) August 18, 2019
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.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 18, 2019
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.
- Giants are 0-4 in Beede’s last 4 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Giants are 0-5 in Beede’s last 5 starts.
- Cubs are 24-8 in their last 32 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
- Cubs are 38-15 in their last 53 home games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Cubs are 37-16 in their last 53 home games.