The Chicago Cubs fly to the west coast for a three-game series against the hot San Francisco Giants. The Giants may be shopping Madison Bumgarner around, but they’re playing like a team determined to get into the postseason. With wins in 8 of their last 9 games, the Giants are playing their best baseball of the season of late. They are feeling it and this is all while trade rumors are swirling around their ace.
There were reports that suggested the Giants tried to trade him about a month ago, but apparently it fell through. Don’t expect the Giants to deal Bumgarner for next to nothing. They’re going to want top prospects in return for Bumgarner. Rightfully so, he still has a lot left in the tank and can easily put a team over the top. Especially considering the amount of success that he’s had in the postseason, Bumgarner is a hot commodity for a team out there who are destined for the postseason.
By the end of it all, he may still be a Giant at the end of the season. That may or may not include the postseason. The Giants certainly look like a postseason team lately, but they can’t afford to let up, because they are still on the outside by 2.5 games in what is an incredibly crowded field.
San Francisco have been winning thanks to some strong, timely pitching from their staff. Their last three wins have been by scores of 3-2, 1-0, and 3-2. There wasn’t any room for error in those games. Shaun Anderson, who has been struggling mightily, hopes to keep it going for the Giants tonight. The rookie was pitching reasonably well, but has hit a major pothole of late. He will be making the 13th start of his career against the Cubs. The Cubs are coming off a 5-1 loss, but are 7-1 in their previous eight games. Alec Mills will hit the hill for the third start of his career tonight. Head below for our free Cubs vs. Giants pick.
Chicago Cubs vs. S.F. Giants Pick:
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The Cubs were forced to go to Alec Mills from the minors as a result of Cole Hamels. Hamels is still working himself back from injury and only throwing bullpen sessions at the moment, so the onus falls on Mills to fill in the void. Mills is unlikely to be able to fill up the entire void with Hamels out.
There aren’t many pitchers in the majors who can, but Mills did a nice enough job in his 2019 debut to stick in the rotation for another outing. Mills helped the Cubs to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds a week ago. He allowed 3 runs in 5 innings, and chewed up innings pretty quickly with just 13.5 pitches per inning. Not bad at all for a guy filling in.
If Mills records a similar game, then the Cubs are probably going to be in fine shape against the Giants here. Shaun Anderson has been throwing BP sessions out there. He goes into Monday with an ERA of 8.78 and 2.10 WHIP in his last 13.1 innings of work. Anderson got torched against the Padres, Brewers, and Rockies.
He is going to feel more comfortable pitching in San Francisco than he did at Coors Field, but he doesn’t get the easiest opponent to return home to. The 24-year-old has never faced the Cubs in his career. He gets them coming off a cold afternoon against the Padres with only 1-run scored. In any event, they were still able to win two of three games in that series. Following a red-hot run by the Giants of eight wins in their last nine games, I’m sensing a letdown spot to open the week against the Cubs here. They likely don’t have the offense to get by the visitors in this one.