Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants MLB Betting Prediciton
Arguably the series of the weekend in Major League Baseball comes from San Francisco starting Friday night. The NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs have the best record in the league and are World Series favorites on sportsbook odds, while the Giants lead the NL West Division and are betting favorites to win that. It’s a potential playoff preview.
A Look at the Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants MLB Betting Prediciton & TV Info
When: Friday, May 20, 10:15 p.m. ET
Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco
Probable pitchers (away/home): Jake Arrieta/Jake Peavy
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: Chicago / San Francisco
Opening MLB Lines: Cubs favored by TBA
Cubs at Giants Historic Betting Trends
San Francisco got one reliever back from the disabled list this week but remains without another. The team activated George Kontos from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. Kontos missed a month with a strained flexor tendon. He had registered a 1.59 ERA over his first eight appearances this season. Sergio Romo (elbow) threw in an extended spring training game Tuesday without issue. He’ll throw another inning at extended spring training Friday and then the Giants could send him out on a minor league rehab assignment. Romo was placed on the disabled list April 14 with a right flexor strain.
Chicago made a surprising move this week in signing former All-Star closer Joe Nathan. The Cubs signed Nathan to a one-year contract but placed him on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow injury. Nathan is 41 and coming back from his second Tommy John surgery. The Cubs aren’t even counting on him until the start of July and it’s one of those low-risk, potentially high-reward deals.
Chicago starts reigning NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta (7-0, 1.29), and he’s among the early favorites to win it this year with Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Arrieta struck out 11 Pirates on the way to an 8-2 victory Saturday, while surrendering three hits, two earned runs and two walks. Arrieta tallied double-digit strikeouts for the first time this season, which was about the only feat he had yet to accomplish in 2016. It was his longest stint since his no-hitter versus the Reds on April 21.
Arrieta had a called-strike percentage of 37 percent Saturday. That’s his highest in his past six starts, a string of outings that followed called-strike rates of more than 42 percent in his first two starts of the season. The Pirates swung at 43 percent of Arrieta’s pitches, the third-lowest rate in Arrieta’s eight starts in 2016. Pirates batters were 0-for-9 with four strikeouts Saturday in at-bats ending on fastballs on the inner half. Arrieta has won 18 straight decisions. That’s the fifth-longest streak in baseball’s modern era, which began with the 1900 season.
San Francisco goes with struggling Jake Peavy (1-4, 7.43). Peavy allowed one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five over six innings, but received no decision Saturday at the Diamondbacks. Peavy left the game with a two-run lead, but the bullpen failed to hold that lead, costing him a potential victory. This was only his second quality start in eight outings. Peavy was 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA last year vs. the Cubs. Ben Zobrist is 5-for-19 with two doubles and two homers against him. Kris Bryant is 3-for-4 with a double.
Expert Betting Prediction
Last year, Arrieta was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 13.2 innings against the Giants. He allowed just eight hits. So the Cubs are the easy choice on betting odds here.