The Cubs are hot, and have overtaken the Giants in the National League wild-card race. But San Francisco is dangerous as a dog, and it's getting an underdog price for Saturday afternoon's contest at Wrigley.
Giants vs. Cubs Betting Odds
As of early Saturday morning the best line we could find on Chicago with Kyle Hendricks was the -140 offered at JustBet, while San Francisco and Matt Cain were getting +135 at GT Bets. And, as usual, oddsmakers were holding off on posting a total on today's game, as they sized up today's weather forecast for Wrigley Field.
Chicago has taken the first two games of this four-game set, winning Friday afternoon 7-3. So the Cubs have won eight of their last nine games, while San Francisco has lost four of its last six.
At 60-48 Chicago now leads the 59-50 Giants by a game and a half in the battle for the second National League wild-card spot.
Hendricks (5-5, 3.67), by our strict standards, is just seven-for-21 on quality starts this season. Last Saturday he held Milwaukee to one run through seven innings, which was a welcome recovery after allowing nine runs over his previous two starts, covering 11 innings, against the Rockies and Reds. For the season Hendricks has allowed 116 hits through 123 innings, walked 25 and struck out 103, which is a nice 4/1 ratio.
Chicago is 11-10 in Hendricks' starts, with the totals going 10-11.
Do note before placing your MLB pick that this will be Hendricks' first-ever start against San Francisco.
Cain (2-2, 4.91) is just two-for-six on quality starts, and O for his last two. Monday he gave up four runs and 10 hits in five innings against Atlanta, and just before that he gave up four runs in six innings against the Brewers. On the season, which for Cain began late, after he recovered from an elbow injury, he's allowed 40 hits through 33 innings, walked eight and struck out 24.
The Giants are 3-3 in Cain's starts, with the totals leaning OVER by a 4-1 margin.
Cain last faced the Cubbies back in 2013, when in two starts he gave up just three runs through 14 innings; thanks to some poor run support San Francisco lost both those games, while both games played UNDER.
Saturday's Batting Splits
San Francisco ranks second in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .275 team batting average, and No. 1 with a .331 team on-base percentage.
Chicago, meanwhile, ranks 29th against righties with a .237 team average and 18th with a .311 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
After two OVERS to open this series games played at Wrigley Field are still 31-18 on the UNDERS this season, averaging just a shade under seven runs per.
Giants-Cubs Saturday Free Picks
We'll call the pitching match-up a wash, and the bullpens are very close, too. But San Francisco owns an edge with the sticks, so we'll stick with the Giants for our pick on the side today. Also, we could see this game getting to 5-4, which should result in an OVER.
MLB Picks: San Francisco and OVER