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Adam Trigger

Adam Trigger

(951) Chicago Cubs at (952) San Francisco Giants

(951) Chicago Cubs at (952) San Francisco Giants
June 27, 2024 3PM EDT
Play Rating:
4% – Chicago Cubs -107 S Imanaga (LHP), J Hicks (RHP) Must Start

Cubs (3:45PM ET MARQUEE, NBCSBA, MLB Network) – We stay out west for part 2 of our early strategy and head to the Bay Area where the San Francisco Giants look for a four game sweep of the Chicago Cubs at Oracle Park in San Francisco, California.

I’m beside myself that I’m going to end up being this wrong on the Cubs. I’ve hyped this team up all season, I have them every which way in the futures market and they truly have been abysmal through the first three months of the season.  A week ago I thought a nice run for the Cubs could get them back in the mix, now I’m not sure if that’s possible even in what’s been a collectively down National League but I’m committed enough where I have to take a shot with Shota Imanaga to avoid a four game sweep by the lackluster Giants here. Imanaga is coming off the worst start of his MLB career, he shipped 10 runs in 3 innings in an 11-1 loss to the Mets and was barely hitting 90 MPH on his fastball.  Imanaga addressed this and said he was experimenting with something (that clearly didn’t work) so I’m hoping he experiments with what he was doing to start the season which saw him post a 0.84 ERA through his first nine starts. It hasn’t been all bad for Imanaga of late, he was blown up by the Brewers and Mets but sandwiched in was three starts where he gave up two runs or less in all three and two qualified as quality starts.  Imanaga has yet to be bad in back to back outings so I think it’s reasonable to expect the talented southpaw to bounce back here. 

San Francisco has bounced back from a terrible run (5 straight losses) with three straight wins but this isn’t a good Giants team and I’ll be surprised if they complete the sweep here.  San Francisco has used a ton of bullpen already in this series and will be up against it today when they give the ball to Jordan Hicks who is clearly fatigued right now and likely goes 4-5 innings at most here. Hicks is a reliever turned starter, he had a great March/April but he hasn’t pitched deep all season and now he’s struggling to make it through five innings.  Hicks only made it four innings against the Cardinals this past weekend giving up five runs on six hits and walking three.  Hicks only had one strikeout in that outing and has just 10 strikeouts in his last three starts TOTAL (13.2 innings pitched), presumably because his pitches just aren’t as sharp because he’s well over where he typically is from an innings standpoint at this point in the season.  I don’t think there’s any way Hicks goes past five innings here, even if he is pitching good, which puts San Francisco in a tough spot in the late innings of this game.  Camilo Doval and Tyler Rogers have both pitched back to back days with a number of others throwing in this series so far which doesn’t bode well for a Giants bullpen that’s been a bottom 10 unit in MLB all season.  I also don’t think there’s any guarantee Hicks doesn’t get blown up, his metrics have declined month to month with June being far worse to this point as his ERA is 5.19 and he’s seen a huge jump in opponent batting average against which is .304 in June up from .181 in April.  Even the Cubs incompetent offense should be able to put up a crooked number at some point here. 

I doubt I’m going to have the Cubs as a long term “BET ON” at this point but I can’t pass up Cubs to avoid being swept by the sub-par Giants AND Imanaga on the mound at better than -110 here.  The Giants and their dire pitching situation is just as likely to drop one as the Cubs are to luck their way into a win.  Play on Cubs -107 for 4% (or 4 units)

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