Sunday Night Baseball brings us a matchup between the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs. The teams have split the first two games of the series of the weekend, setting up the rubber match for Sunday night. The Chicago Cubs are -200 over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday Night Baseball.
Amidst a series of injuries, most notably to key members of their pitching staff, the Giants have done well to remain within striking distance of a playoff spot in the NL West. Nevertheless, they begin Sunday just two games out of first place despite being two games under .500. However, they’ve only won four of their last 10 games, so they are currently in a slump even with Saturday’s win over the Cubs.
Chicago meanwhile, is four games over .500 but fourth in the NL Central and 4.5 games out of first place. The Cubs have yet to catch fire this season the way most believe they’re capable of doing. As a result, they’ve lost ground in the NL Central recently with the Brewers getting hit.
De Facto Ace
The Giants will send lefty Ty Blach to the mound Sunday night. With Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto on the DL, Blach has become the de facto ace of San Francisco’s rotation. Other than Cueto’s incredible performance prior to his latest DL stint, Blach has been the team’s most consistent starter. Of course, the 27-year old is 3-4 with a 4.37 ERA, which isn’t great, but it’s the best the Giants have right now.
Unfortunately, Blach has been less reliable of late. He’s failed to get through the fifth inning in each of his last three starts. If that trend continues, it doesn’t bode well for the Giants, who have one of the worst bullpens in the National League. On top of that, Cubs hitters are hitting a combined .319 in their career against Blach, albeit in limited action.
The Cubs have injury problems in their rotation as well. They placed Yu Darvish on the DL Saturday night, forcing Tyler Chatwood to be moved up a day to start Sunday night. Signed during the offseason to be a back-end starter, Chatwood has pitched quite well this year. In nine starts, he’s 3-4 with a 3.74 ERA. He was knocked around by the Indians earlier this week, but prior to that. Chatwood has been steady and reliable this season.
Chatwood also has a lot of experience facing the Giants from his days with the Rockies. He’s fared well against Buster Posey, although Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Gorkys Hernandez have all had a fair amount of success against him. Those three just happen to be San Francisco’s hottest hitters over the past week.
Let the Bullpens Decide
Neither starter is set up for success in this game, although Chatwood is probably the safer bet at this point. Of course, even if they pitch well, neither is likely to last much longer than five innings. When this game gets turned over to the bullpens, the Cubs should have a distinct advantage. Chicago is also the better offensive team. Take the Chicago Cubs -200 over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.