It's an afternoon affair Thursday in San Francisco where the Giants are hefty favorites in the MLB baseball betting odds to take their second 2nd from the Chicago Cubs.
And just like that, two streaks are over. For the Chicago Cubs, the 4-2 setback snapped a 6-game win streak as they prepare to face two of the game's preeminent pitchers the next two days in the middle of this weeklong road trip. For San Francisco, Wednesday's triumph stopped a 3-game skid and ensured they won't be swept in the season series by the Cubs who had taken five straight from the Giants this year.
The two clubs will settle this set with an afternoon matchup (3:45 PM ET) at AT&T Park where the G-Men are decided favorites behind their ace, Madison Bumgarner. San Francisco is priced as high as -190 at some sports books listed on SBR's live MLB odds, Pinnacle currently listing the Giants -181. Dan Haren is up next for the Cubs, a 7 run total costing baseball bettors a little extra on the 'under.'
Bumgarner Seeking 5th-Straight Victory
Haren's ERA has been on a steady climb since he came over to the Cubs from the Marlins. Four starts for Chicago have yielded a 6.05 ERA with the Cubs splitting the decisions, and a big problem in that 19.1 inning span has been surrendering the long ball with opposing batters taking the former Pepperdine star deep seven times.
The good news is he did help Miami to two wins over the Giants in the first half of the season, one of his better 2015 starts taking place in San Francisco (7 IP, 2 ER, 0 BB). That May 7 assignment was his first start on this mound since his days with the Diamondbacks in 2009, and he owns a 3.60 lifetime ERA at AT&T Park in 10 starts plus a relief outing.
With the exception of one start in Texas at the end of July, Bumgarner has been on a roll since the all-star break. San Francisco has won six of his seven starts, and even with the one rough outing against the Rangers, Bumgarner's ERA over the stretch is a fin 2.30. He missed facing the Cubs at Wrigley earlier this month, but has had ample success against them previously with a 5-2 record and 2.53 ERA in nine career starts. Starlin Castro (.417, 10-24) and Chris Denorfia (.319, 15-47) have generally given him fits.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Crew chief Gary Cederstrom will be south of the dish for the series finale, the 26-year veteran umpire bringing a level 10-10-1 O/U/P record on totals into the affair. The mark has reached .500 thanks to his last three games going 'over' the MLB odds. This is Cederstrom's third plate assignment with Bumgarner pitching, the totals splitting in the other two.
MLB pick: Giants -1½ (+136) at Pinnacle