The Cubs' push for the division and a playoff spot continued last night with another exciting back-and-forth game. Now, with a chance to sweep their series with the Giants this afternoon, we’ll preview the game before going over which pitcher prop market I’ll be targeting.
After picking up 15 hits and scoring six runs in the 7th inning, capped by a miraculous bat flip by Christopher Morel, the Cubs managed to pick up an 11-8 victory over the Giants. In a game that saw a combined 12 pitchers take the mound between the two teams, offense was the story, and even though San Francisco found the run column their fair share of times, it was Chicago who came up with the most timely hits.
Entering the 7th inning down 6-4, Seiya Suzuki immediately tied the game with a two-run shot, and the floodgates opened. In order to pick up the sweep, the Cubs will be relying on a rookie starter to get them there, as lefty Jordan Wicks will take the mound for his third career start. It’s hard to envision a better start to a career than the one Wicks is having, entering tonight with two wins in two starts and just two earned runs allowed over ten total innings to go along with 12 strikeouts.
The Giants lineup that Wicks will be facing made up for getting shutout in the opening game of this series by picking up 12 hits yesterday. Of those 12 hits, eight went for extra bases, including home runs by Lamonte Wade Jr., Wilmer Flores, J.D Davis, and Mike Yastrzemski. Giants outfielder Joc Pederson also had a big day at the plate, going 3-4 with two doubles and an RBI.
Getting the ball to close out the series for San Francisco will be lefty Alex Wood. The veteran has been used in a long relief role for the most part this season, with his last start coming on July 21st. In Wood’s most recent outing, which was a three-inning relief appearance, he allowed one run (not earned) on three hits.
Jordan Wicks’ strikeout total is set at 4.5, and for my play, I’ll be taking the over, which is priced at (-130) on the DraftKings Sportsbook. The lefty, who has already flashed some impressive strikeout potential with his changeup, has an ideal matchup this afternoon with a Giants lineup that has struggled against left-handed pitching.
Over the past month, the Giants have the highest strikeout percentage in the league against left-handed pitching on the road at 35.2%, and the last time they faced a lefty, which happens to be two days ago, they struck out 12 times. The last four times San Francisco has faced a lefty starter, that pitcher has recorded at least five punchouts, so Wicks has a strong advantage today, especially since they have never seen him in person.
It is still early in his career, but through his first two starts, Wicks’ changeup has a 50% whiff percentage, and his cutter has a 33.3% whiff percentage. For a lineup that struggled against lefties, having to face Wicks’ changeup only makes matters worse. I liken the lefty’s outlier changeup to Kodai Senga’s forkball, as it has high swing and miss potential, especially against hitters who have never faced it.
Jordan Wicks Over 4.5 K’s (-130)