Free MLB Picks: Home Field Decisive In Cubs vs. Giants Game

Kevin Stott

Sunday, May 22, 2016 11:46 AM UTC

Sunday, May. 22, 2016 11:46 AM UTC

Here's an expert handicapper's view of the Cubs vs. Giants MLB Odds for the upcoming game this Sunday evening, so read on and profit from his insight and free MLB Pick.

The high-flying Chicago Cubs will give Kyle Hendricks the baseball on Sunday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco as the best team in MLB so far faces ace Madison Bumgarner and a team which has W3 of the L6 World Series, the San Francisco Giants in Game 3 of this National League heavyweight series. The Cubs and the unstoppable Jake Arrieta defeated the Giants in Game 1 on Friday, ending an 8-game San Francisco Win Streak but what can Chicago go in here and get a Win in a spot far, far away from home and with Hendricks and not Arrieta or Game 2 starter Jon Lester getting the pill? Let’s look at the L13 games in this series, the scheduled Starting Pitchers, an updated Weather Forecast for The City By The Bay, some other things and then come up with a Side and Totals MLB picks in what should be a close affair on the diamond which may mean more to the hosts.


Odds Overview
The red-hot and now NL West-leading San Francisco Giants (25-19 into Game 2 on Saturday night) will send LHP ace Madison Bumgarner (5-2, 2.45 ERA, 71 K’s) to the bump against the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs (29-11) and right-handed sinkerballer Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 3.51 ERA, 37 K’s) AT&T Park in San Francisco on Sunday night in Game 3 of this enticing 3-game series between possibly the two best teams in the Senior Circuit. Offshore oddsmakers have opened up the host Giants as short -122 favorites with the host Cubs priced at +113 as the Road Underdogs (Heritage) with the game’s Total (Runs) opening at 7 (Under -108, Heritage).The Run Line has opened up with host San Francisco actually +1½ at sportsbooks and priced at +108 (Heritage) with Chicago -1½ at -108 and lines-makers refusing to give the Cubs +1½ despite being the underdogs against Bumgarner and the host Giants at AT&T Park here.


Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs (7/2 to win World Series, BetVictor) and Manager Joe Maddon continue to play great Baseball not only at Home in the Friendly, ivy-walled confines of Wrigley Field in Chicago but also on the Road where the Cubs improved to 15-5 on the Road in an 8-1 win as Über-Ace Arrieta improved to 8-0 with an MLB-leading 1.29 ERA with Chicago winning in the big RHPs L22 Starts as when allowed just 1 Run on 4 Giants Hits and continued to be the most profitable MLB Starting Pitcher to just blindly back. And it’s hard to see Arrieta slowing down. In Friday’s game, the Cubs exploded for 5 Runs in their Top Half of the 2nd Inning with Kris Bryant delivering a 3-run Home Run against San Francisco starter Jake Peavy who was chased in the frame after throwing just 55 pitches. And scoring 5 Runs or having a 5-run lead with Arrieta throwing these days really translates to about a 10-0 lead and a sure Win with this franchise finally getting the perfect blend of General Manager (Theo Epstein), brilliant Manager (Maddon) and Roster (and Farm System) after all of these sullen and snakebitten years. When Arrieta starts, you back the Cubs or you stay away or risk mumbling in your Sleep, brother. Besides Bryant’s dinger, Ben Zobrist and Jorge Soler hit Home Runs for the visitors who may be using Soler in the OF much more now with Jason Heyward (Right Hip) injuring himself in the Bottom of the 1st making a great diving catch to rob the Giants leadoff man Denard Span in the 1st Inning and being removed. Heyward, acquired in the Offseason (Cardinals) as well as Zobrist, had an MRI done on the Hip on Saturday morning but Maddon didn’t have him in the lineup for Saturday night’s Game 2 against the Giants so Chicago and its’ deep Roster were able to still have Soler (LF), Dexter Fowler (CF) and Ben Zobrist (RF) in the Outfield and Bryant played OF in place of Heyward after his Injury, so the Cubs have a versatile and old-fashioned team with some guys able to play many positions—important with such a long season (162 games) and the Injury to starting young OF Kyle Schwarber (Left Knee) who has been out for the season with a torn ACL.


San Francisco Giants
Before the season started, it seemed one of these two teams would likely win the World Series, and despite W8 of 9 heading into Saturday night’s Game 2 at AT&T Park, it seems the Cubs have a much better chance this time around than do the Giants (16/1 to win World Series, Coral) and Manager Bruce Bochy who have brought home three World Series rings in the the last six seasons. In contrast, the the last time the Cubbies won the World Series (1908), 18% of households in the United States still had servants, 95% of Births took place at Home and only 8% of the population and Telephones. And you could get marijuana at the drugstore to treat a headache. In the Loss to Chicago on Friday night, San Francisco and Bochy put out a Starting Lineup of: CF Denard Span, 2B Joe Panik, 3B Matt Duffy, C Buster Posey, 1B Brandon Belt, RF Hunter Pence, SS Brandon Crawford, P Jake Peavy with RF Ángel Pagán hitting in the No. 9 spot for Los Gigantes and getting 2 of the team’s 6 Hits (2 Singles) and scoring the team’s only Run in the Loss. And heading into Saturday evening’s game—(FOX, 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT) Jon Lester (4-2) for Cubs vs. Matt Cain (0-5) for the Giants—San Francisco (15/2 to win NL, Coral) had Pagán, Pence and Belt listed out of his starting Lineup, so check their status for this game closer to game time on Sunday as their presences or absences could affect both a Side or Totals bet in a game line fairly close to even and with a low Total of 7 posted. The way it looks, Bochy is saving them for this Game 3 and all three could start.


Pitchers Report Card
The Starting Pitching matchup here has to give Hope to the hosts, with ace and southpaw Madison Bumgarner (5-2, 2.45 ERA) slated to go up against Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 3.51 ERA) who has a lofty 5.91 ERA on the Road and who said he felt he was using his Fastball too much in his last outing against the Brewers (He has a nice Sinker as well). If San Francisco loses Game 2 on Saturday night, then the MLB odds increase of the Giants winning here, as getting swept by a team you may have to face in the NLDS or the NLCS at your own Ballpark this early on is unacceptable, especially when you have the type of talent-laden lineup (and the Pride) like the Giants do and especially when you’re on a roll (San Francisco had W8 straight heading into this series to go from 17-18 and a game below .500 to 25-18 [Friday] and into first place in the NL West). Against Hendricks, the Giants have had limited Plate appearances but Belt is 2-for-5 (.400) with a HR, Pence is a perfect 2-for-2 and Crawford 1-for-2, so, if they (Pagán, Pence, Belt) do play on Sunday and San Francisco is mad about losing Games 1 and 2, the Giants may be ready to explode for some Runs on national TV against someone not name Arrieta or Lester. Chicago hitters have had much more experience at the plate against Bumgarner, with Zobrist a torrid 5-for-6 (.866), Heyward (.200, 5 RBI in 15 ABs vs. Bumgarner) and C David Ross having hit HRs against him. Bryant and SS Addison Russell are hitless in 5 ABs vs. Bumgarner, Soler and Tommy La Stella have never faced Bumgarner while left-handed hitting 1B Anthony Rizzo is hitting .231 with no HRs or RBI in 13 ABs vs the scheduled Sunday San Francisco starter.


The Weather Forecast for San Francisco on Sunday night calls for Partly Cloudy conditions, a Low temperature of around 50°, W Winds of 10-15 mph and 81% Humidity, so, a normal slice of San Francisco even if a little bit Chilly for mid- to late-May. Watch those Winds Totals players. Heading into Saturday night, the Cubs were 8-6 in their L14 games against the Giants with 8 of those 13 going Over the posted Total including Friday’s 8-1 scoreline (Total: 7, Over -123). In San Francisco the L3 seasons, the Giants were 4-3 against the Cubs at Home at AT&T Park heading into Game 2, so the improvements Maddon and this club has made over the past 2-3 seasons have been remarkable as being able to go to this particular park and beat this ballclub and scare them in a series is something no other club in MLB seems capable of doing right now. And that’s really saying something as this is a really fierce Giants lineup, but with the Cubs Starting (and Relief) Pitching and the present Depth, Chicago seems just a slight bit better overall than does San Francisco who still may be the 2nd-best (or best) team in the league. We will let them play the Games to find out as no Writers or Prognosticators have ever determined who actually does win in it on the field and when curses of Billy Goats and crazy 108-year droughts are involved, best to let (Sports) Evolution take its course.

Here, expect the Giants to play their best and try to get to Hendricks early and to try to work him in the count. The Home Crowd should be a help here for the hosts also with a potential 0-2 or 1-1 series reality at hand and a Win needed to get them back in those winning ways they just re-discovered before Mr. Schedule-maker popped a series against the Cubs in their happy faces. Chicago will come in either 16-5 or 15-6 on the Road, but should Chicago have rolled on Saturday night, Maddon might go all (NBA San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg) Popovich and not care too much about winning in Game 3 with the series already in hand and Heyward still potentially a big question mark. But fading the best team in MLB has not been an easy thing in April and May and it is never easy as the Cubs are seemingly practicing ways to win for future dates, and a Hendricks-Bumgarner situation in Frisco is always going to favor the Giants but with Ángel Pagán (Hamstring) and Pence (Hamstring) out of Saturday’ Game 2 and reportedly slated to only be used as in PH roles and Belt being rested with Posey sliding over to 1B, it seems Bochy may be reserved to trying to get to Chicago on Sunday and may be gearing up for this Game 3 with all three of Pagán, Belt and Pence interjected back into the San Francisco lineup against a Pitcher (Hendricks) that both he (Bochy) and they (Pagán, Belt and Pence) may think they can really hit against. And, nothing worse than getting swept after W8 and vaulting into 1st Place in the NL West and feeling really good about yourself. Those damn Cubs.

The Cubs (+113 RD) are having a wonderful year and are off to their best start since 1907, but overall, many MLB teams are as down as they have been in sometime and Chicago often has trouble scoring Runs and still hasn’t even made it to a World Series since 1945 when the Detroit Tigers beat them 4-games-t0-3, creating a sad connection between those previous 37 black-and-white years of an MLB championship drought (1909-1945) with this current 69-year colorful run (1946-2015) without getting to, letting alone win a World Series. Even though this feels like the Cubs year and that they will find ways to win every night, the likelihood is that they too will have their Slumps and Losses and bad pitching and problems scoring and that it’s probably best to fade Chicago NL on the Road after Arrieta and Lester have had their turn in the Cubs Rotation. The latest on Heyward (Saturday night) is that he’ll reportedly be out for the next 3-5 Days, which in the long run, may actually be good news for Chicago.

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Predicted Final Score: Giants 5 - Cubs 3
Free MLB Picks: Giants -120, Over 7 -105
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
MLB Record: This Week: 0-2 / Season: 12-10-0

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