Fresh off another disappointing road trip that ended up not being nearly as bad as it seemed at one point, are back home and looking to take advantage. The starting pitching really came on in a rare series win against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, even if the bats didn’t often do the same. The bullpen is still a major cause for concern, but the return of Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Kintzler, and likely Steve Cishek should help.
Chicago welcomes the Giants, who are somehow still hanging around, to Wrigley for three games starting Tuesday. San Francisco rode a tremendous July to a spot on the periphery of the Wild Card race and now sit just 3.5 games back of the last playoff spot at 63-62.
The key factor in the turnaround in the Bay Area has been the pitching, as their 4.41 team ERA is good for 11th in all of baseball. Madison Bumgarner has led the charge with an excellent second half, going 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA since the All-Star break.
The offense has been a less rosy picture for the Giants, whose team .712 OPS is 26th best in MLB and whose 135 homers rank 25th. Only the lowly Marlins have a worse offense among NL teams. The team leader in OPS is rookie Mike Yastrzemski, whose recent three-homer game brought back memories of his Hall of Fame grandfather.
The Cubs lost two of three in San Francisco in late July, so they are hoping to return the favor and then some back at home. If they can get the offense rolling it might be hard for the light-hitting Giants to keep up.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Tuesday, August 20 at 7:05pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago+
- Wednesday, August 21 at 7:05pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Thursday, August 22 at 1:20pm CT on WGN and MLB Network (out-of-market)
What to Watch For
- Steve Cishek is expected to be activated on Tuesday, which will bring the Cubs’ bullpen back to full strength.
- Hendricks’ ERA at home is a sparkling 1.98 compared to 4.76 away from Wrigley.
- Kris Bryant has gotten a hit in 10 of his last 12 games and has a homer and double the past two contests. He is hitting .303 at home, so like the rest of the team he is better in Chicago.