Jon Lester (14-4, 2.70 ERA) takes the mound for the Chicago Cubs (86-47) as they meet Albert Suarez (3-2, 4.35 ERA) and the San Francisco Giants (72-61) in the second of a four-game series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the last game 5-4, and Chicago leads the series 1-0. The game gets underway at 2:20 p.m. ET on Friday, Sep. 2 and will air on WGN and CSBA.
In his most recent outing, Lester pitched 6.0 innings, giving up zero runs, striking out six and walking two in a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers. Kris Bryant (.307, 112 Rs, 36 HRs, 91 RBIs, 8 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run and one RBI. The Giants were also unsuccessful the last time Suarez pitched. He went 4.1 innings, allowing three runs, striking out five and walking two in a 3-1 loss to the Braves. Hunter Pence (.284, 38 Rs, 9 HRs, 44 RBIs) has been hitting the ball well, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and two RBIs.
The odds are even for this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is presently unavailable. Teams routinely struggle to score runs against the Cubs, who allow an NL-low 3.4 runs per game. The Cubs lead the league in WHIP at 1.118.
They have a WHIP of 1.231 on the year, good for fifth in the league.
The Cubs will take on a right-hander (Suarez) in this game. They have done very well against right-handed starting pitchers this season (57-33), especially at home where they have a 32-12 record. Taking the hill against the Giants will be the left-hander Lester. They sport a 24-16 record against southpaws.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
In their last game, the Giants lost by a margin of one run. The Cubs are 19-19 in one-run games. The Giants have a 24-21 record in close games.
The Cubs are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded six strikeouts. The Giants have a record of 38-25 when opponents' pitchers have six strikeouts or less.
When they are outhit, the Cubs are 8-28. The Giants have a 12-41 record when opponents outhit them.
San Francisco ranks near the bottom of the league at 28th when it comes to home runs, hitting 110 this season. Chicago ranks in the top half with 167.
Ranking sixth, Chicago is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.78 per game. San Francisco ranks in the top five at fourth with 8.98.
Ranking 15th, San Francisco is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.739). Chicago ranks in the top five at third with an OPS of .780.
The Giants are 33-48 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cubs are 44-38 when they allow at least one homer.