Free Baseball Picks: San Francisco Giants vs CH Cubs

Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija

Jay Pryce

Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:43 PM GMT

Eddie Butler gets another shot at nailing down the fifth spot in the Cubs rotation Thursday afternoon (2:20 p.m. ET), as he squares off against the red-hot Jeff Samardzija and the San Francisco Giants. What's the play? Look inside.

San Francisco Giants (20-28)

The Giants wrap up a seven-game road trip to NL Central opponents on Thursday with the opportunity to make it a winning one. They are 3-3 on the current jaunt with scheduled starter Jeff Samardzija outdueling Cardinals ace Carlos Martinez 3-1 last time out for one of the victories. Samardzija will make his 105th appearance (42nd start) at Wrigley Field, after playing his first eight seasons with the Cubs.

The right-hander is 1-5 with a 4.57 ERA in nine starts in 2017. Despite the high ERA, Samardzija is having his best season since 2013. He owns a 2.89 FIP, 1.13 WHIP while striking out a batter per inning (71K, 61 IP). Samardzija’s splitter and slider are sharp and baffling hitters.

Collectively, the Cubs current roster is hitting .290 with a .803 OPS. Jon Jay has done the most damage, going 12-for-30 with a double and a home run. NL MVP Kris Bryant is a 4-for-8 lifetime.

Since last year’s All-Star break, the UNDER is 10-3 when Samardzija starts on the road. He and the pen yield 4.23 runs per game in this spot. It’s the Giants cold bats keeping the score down. The team is crossing the plate a measly 2,46 runs per game.

 

Chicago Cubs (24-21)

On this date last season, the Cubs averaged an NL-best 5.61 runs per game. Their 5.02 mark currently ranks seventh in the league. The number is on the rise, however. Chicago is 6-2 in its last eight games, crossing the plate 6.75 times per contest. All of these were played at Wrigley, where the OVER is 16-7-1 on the season.

Former Colorado arm Eddie Butler is scheduled to make his third career start for Chicago. The right-hander is in the running to take over the fifth spot in the rotation from Brett Anderson, who fans booed off the mound in the first inning of an 11-6 loss to the Yankees last time out.

Butler excelled in his Cubs debut, tossing six scoreless innings in a 3-2 win over the Cardinals. His last start was not as impressive, needing 92 pitches to make it through three frames. To be fair, it was raining and miserable conditions for a baseball game. Which Butler shows up today is anyone’s guess. Overall, he is 1-0 with 8 strikeouts, 8 walks, and a 2.00 ERA.

Here are the facts: the Rockies were 9-19 SU when Butler assumed the hill as a starter, He and the staff allowed 5.68 runs per game, though the number dipped to 5.07 in 15 starts away from hitter-friendly Coors Field. Butler has made just seven quality starts in his 30 career outings.

 

San Francisco Giants vs CH Cubs 

The wind is blowing in from left at Wrigley, but that should not deter bettors from leaning the 'over' in this contest. Butler is not the answer for the fifth spot. He owns a 5.60 FIP throughout his career. Butler’s lack of control in his last two outings is alarming. Samardzija is red-hot, but good luck shutting down Chicago’s bats at home. Since May 1, the lineup is scoring 5.73 runs per game at Wrigley. 'Over' is the right MLB pick.

 Free MLB Pick: 'Over' 7.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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