Time to play spoiler as the West Division leading Giants roll into town for a weekend series. Ever since the Giants got the news that Melky Cabrera was going to be suspended they have taken off, and now hold a four game lead over the Dodgers in a race for the Western Division crown. The Giants are getting it done with a balanced attack as they are right in the middle of the pack in runs scored and ERA in the National League. The Cubs are going to need to have a solid offensive approach against the Giants if they want to take this series. The Giants are a baseball team in every sense of the word, they play, and win as a team. If the Cubs can do the same thing, and have an approach like they did in the series finale against the Brewers they might be able to play spoiler. The team could look rather different come Saturday as the rosters will expand, Sveum has cautioned that there might only be six or so call ups, we’ll see, and of course keep you updated.
August 31, 2012 – September 2, 2012; Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Here are this weekends pitching matchups.
Season Series: Giants lead series 4-0
Prediction: Giants sweep series 3-0
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Finally the Cubs have a reason to feel good about themselves as they are coming off a three game sweep over the Padres. Hopefully they use that sweep to carry some momentum across the Country and into San Francisco as the Cubs take on the Giants in a four game set. In order for the Cubs to be successful they need more of the patience they exhibited in the series finale against the Padres. The deeper hitters get into counts against this very good pitching staff the better off they will be. The Giants come into this series with the 4th best ERA in the National League at 3.38. On the plus side the Giants have some trouble scoring runs as they are tied for 10th in NL with 204 runs.
The Cubs will miss Tim Lincecum, but that might be a bad thing as he has been probably the worst Giants starter this year. Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain head up the 2012 rotation and the quicker the Cubs get those two out of the game the better. As I mentioned, the Giants are struggling to score runs, a big reason is the absence of Pablo Sandoval at third, they are a much different offense without him. The Cubs pitchers need to pound the zone and use the ballpark to their advantage, the quicker the outs the better, if they can do that I don’t think a split is out of the question. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.