It’s a huge showdown between two teams jockeying for NL Wild Card positioning on Labor Day afternoon as the struggling San Francisco Giants (70-67) head east to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Cubs (73-64) at Wrigley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. ET. Each team will be sending their ace to the hill, as the Giants roll with Logan Webb (9-11, 3.49 ERA) while Chicago gives the ball to lefty Justin Steele (15-3, 2.69).
Chicago is on a roll in recent weeks, winning 19 of their last 30 overall games to solidify their grip on the second NL Wild Card spot and claw back into the NL Central race — now sitting just 3.5 games back of the Brewers. The Giants, on the other hand, are fading fast, coming into this game on the back of a series loss at the hands of the Padres. San Fran has lost 12 of their last 20 and 18 of their last 30, but they remain locked in a four-way tie for the final Wild Card spot.
The Cubs enter as -142 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Giants at +120. The run total is set at 9.
Giants-Cubs picks: Monday, September 4
Day to day: SP/RP Ross Stripling (back)
Out: OF AJ Pollock (oblique), OF Michael Conforto (hamstring), RP John Brebbia (lat)
Out: SP Marcus Stroman (ribs), RP Michael Fulmer (forearm), RP Brandon Hughes (knee), RP Brad Boxberger (forearm)
Logan Webb vs. Justin Steele
After consecutive rough starts against the Braves, Webb got back to his usual self last week, holding the Reds to two runs over six innings of work — but winding up with a hard-luck loss due to a lack of run support. That’s been something of a theme for the righty this year: He’s second to only Gerrit Cole in quality starts this year with 19, churning out easy outs thanks to one of the highest ground-ball rates in the league, but his 9-11 record shows just how little help he’s gotten from a struggling San Fran offense.
Just behind Webb on the quality starts leaderboard is Steele, who fired his 18th of the year with six scoreless innings in a huge spot against the Brewers last week. The lefty has been huge since Stroman went down earlier this summer: In his last seven starts, he’s 5-0 with two no-decisions and has allowed just 14 earned runs in 40 innings of work in that span.
Of the last 10 games each of these teams have played, so 20 total, there have only been 10+ runs scored five times. In three previous meetings between these teams this season, it only happened once. Don’t expect the Giants to be racking up runs on Steele, while Webb’s ability to keep the ball on the ground will be key on a warm afternoon at Wrigley.
Pick: Under 9
These are two teams who, despite both sitting in second place in their respective divisions, are heading in very opposite directions. The Cubs are resurgent while the Giants seem to be floundering, and it’s just very hard to trust San Francisco to score enough to win this game.
Pick: Cubs -142