Cubs vs. Giants Odds
|Time||7:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via PointsBet.|
In a matchup of polar opposites, Kohl Stewart of the Chicago Cubs takes on the National League Pitcher of the Month in May, Kevin Gausman of the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants are obviously heavy favorites, even in this battle of division leaders, with such an advantage on the starting pitching line. Is there any value to the Cubs? Can the Giants cover the spread and not just that wildly high spread?
Cubs May Struggle With Gausman
The Cubs ended a hot streak of winning 12 out of 13 games on Thursday night when they first matched up with the Giants in San Francisco. Fortunately, for them, they have still been playing incredible baseball, enough to propel them into the division lead in the NL Central where they still lead the St. Louis Cardinals by 1.5 games.
At this point, the Cubs are the best squad in that division, although Nico Hoerner, Matt Duffy and David Bote remained sidelined on the injured list. Patrick Wisdom has crushed his way onto the scene in his first 25 plate appearances, so that is reassuring for the Cubs faithful in “next man up” fashion.
However, against a pitcher like Kevin Gausman, who ranks in the 91st percentile in chase rate and holds opponents to a wOBA of .209, the Cubs will barely scrape by to get runs. Yes, the studs of the lineup, like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant should be able to adjust, but Willson Contreras and Javy Báez have a tendency to chase after pitches. The combination of Gausman on the mound and two of the Cubs’ best hitters in the lineup having their bats taken from them is an issue to be aware of.
The Cubs have a phenomenal bullpen (2.72 combined ERA), but they are overachieving. Their xFIP is 3.74, so expect some regression in the near future. They do have plenty of options for relief pitching, but they will more than likely have to be put to use if Stewart cannot go deep into this game.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants have a very similar lineup, success-wise, to the Cubs. Both are slightly above average, but with Gausman on the hill, they will not have to put together too much. Most of their lineup tends to hit righties pretty well. Even though Kohl Stewart was able to mow down batters in the Padres lineup in his only outing this season, do not expect the same here. Plenty of weapons should negate his effectiveness on the mound.
When it comes to the bullpen, San Francisco is a bit lacking compared to the Cubs, but their combined xFIP is 4.38. Missing Caleb Barager is a knock on them, but they just need Gausman to go six or seven strong, like he normally would. Tyler Rogers is an effective closer and can give the Cubs a different look at the end of this game, being a side-armer. He will not blow you away with a fastball, but he will induce weak contact, which is enough in a big ballpark, like Oracle Park.
When it comes down to it, fading Kevin Gausman right now is a bad idea. Go with the best performing pitcher in the National League until it stops working.
The Cubs will struggle scoring on Gausman with a few big bats chasing pitches. This should allow for the Giants to scrape by with only a few runs on the board. Gausman should go far enough into this game, where the Giants can avoid their weaker middle relievers and basically go right to Tyler Rogers. If that is the case, the Giants should cover their run line. Take the Giants at -1.5 (+120) to -110.
Pick: San Francisco Giants -1.5 (+120)