San Francisco Giants vs Chicago Cubs Picks and Predictions June 26th 2024

San Francisco Giants vs Chi. Cubs Cubs MLB Wed, Jun 26, 21:45 pm.
San Francisco Giants
ML: -125
0
0
Chi. Cubs Cubs
ML: 105
-

In a bid to end a three-game skid, the Chicago Cubs are looking to replicate the San Francisco Giants‘ recent success with bullpen games. Cubs manager Craig Counsell has opted for a strategic shift by using an opener, inspired by the Giants’ effective use of their bullpen to secure victories in the past two games.

Cubs’ New Strategy:

After observing the Giants’ bullpen games and their ability to win, Craig Counsell announced a change in the Cubs’ pitching plan. Originally slated to start, right-hander Shota Imanaga will be pushed back to Thursday. This decision follows Imanaga’s tough outing against the New York Mets, where he allowed 10 runs and 11 hits in three innings. Hayden Wesneski, a right-hander with a 3.29 ERA, will open for the Cubs on Wednesday.

Giants’ Bullpen Success:

The Giants’ manager Bob Melvin utilized 11 different pitchers across two games, leading to back-to-back victories. These pitchers collectively limited the Cubs to just five runs, with eight out of 11 relievers recording scoreless stints. Their bullpen’s effectiveness was on display when five relievers shut out the Cubs after opener Randy Rodriguez allowed a third-inning run on Tuesday, leading to a 5-1 win.

Giants’ Pitching Rotation Challenges:

The Giants face a pitching dilemma with five starting pitchers on the injured list, including Blake Snell and Robbie Ray. As a result, the team has had to rely on bullpen games to fill the gaps. Despite this, Melvin opted not to go for a third consecutive opener game, deciding instead to start 22-year-old Hayden Birdsong, who will make his MLB debut. Birdsong, recently promoted from Double-A Richmond, brings potential but also risk, having made just two starts at Triple-A Sacramento.

Cubs’ Recent Performances:

Despite the losing streak, the Cubs have seen strong performances from their starting pitchers. Justin Steele and Kyle Hendricks each delivered solid outings, limiting the Giants to two runs over more than seven innings in their respective starts. However, the Cubs’ offense struggled significantly, managing only four hits—all singles—in Tuesday’s game and failing to capitalize with runners in scoring position.

Risks and Rewards of the Opener Strategy:

Using an opener like Wesneski, who has recently been pitching out of the bullpen, involves some risk. However, Counsell hopes this strategy will provide a fresh approach to outmaneuver the Giants and ignite the Cubs’ offense. Wesneski’s prior experience as a starter, including a stint earlier in the season where he allowed only four earned runs in 16 1/3 innings, offers some confidence.

Conclusion:

The Cubs’ decision to mimic the Giants’ bullpen game approach is a testament to the evolving strategies in modern baseball. By pushing Imanaga back and starting Wesneski, the Cubs aim to leverage the tactical advantage that has recently benefited the Giants. As the Cubs seek to end their losing streak, this bold move underscores the importance of adaptability and innovation in the game.

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Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Wed, Jun 26, 09:14 am.
spread
moneyline
over/under
San Francisco Giants
-1.5
165
-125
O 7.5
-130
Chi. Cubs Cubs
+1.5
-200
105
U 7.5
-105
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