The San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs continue their four-game set underneath the lights Wednesday at Wrigley Field
San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs
San Francisco aims to match its longest winning streak in five years after sweeping a Tuesday doubleheader against Chicago by the scores of 13-7 and 6-3. The Giants busted out offensively by compiling 30 hits and moving 12 games above .500 for the first time this season at the end of the day. During its seven-game win streak, the starting staff has been remarkable, posting a 6-0 record and 2.01 ERA over that span. Despite playing a day-night double dip, the bullpen should be relatively fresh if called upon tonight, as six relievers were used for a total of six frames of work. San Francisco is 32-18 in nighttime contests this year.
Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum is 6-6 with a 3.16 ERA in 16 starts this season and is coming off one of his best performances of the year. The right-hander tossed seven shutout innings in a 2-1 home victory over the Twins, scattering three hits and striking out 12 batters. Lincecum will be making his eighth career start versus the Cubs, owning a 3-3 record and 3.50 ERA. Six of those seven outings have been quality assignments. He is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three career starts at Wrigley Field.
Chicago began the day with the worst ERA in the National League and giving up 19 runs Tuesday was not the best way to lower that mark. “Long, taxing day from a bullpen standpoint,” said Cubs manager Mike Quade. The Cubs have received little from their No. 4-5 starters this season, registering a 4-19 mark and 6.82 ERA combined. The club fell to 1-3 versus the Giants this season after posting a losing 2-5 mark against them during the 2010 campaign. Offensively, first baseman Carlos Pena continues to provide power in the lineup, homering in seven of his past 13 games. Chicago is 14-25 this season when facing off against a team with a winning record.
Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster has been pitching much better of late, posting a 3-2 mark and 3.19 ERA in his last seven outings since May 24. The right-hander didn’t factor into the club’s 6-4 win at Kansas City last time out, giving up four runs (two earned) and nine hits over six innings of work. Dempster has been much better at home than on the road, registering a 4.21 ERA in nine outings at Wrigley Field compared to a 5.31 ERA away from the Friendly Confines. In 24 career games (14 starts) against the Giants, he is 5-8 with a 4.65 ERA, while owning a 4-2 record and 6.66 ERA in seven games (four starts) when facing them at Wrigley.
Bettors will be interested in backing the Giants due to their 12-4 record in Lincecum’s last 16 starts as a road favorite, while the Cubs are 0-5 in Dempster’s last five outings as a home underdog