Giants vs Cubs Picks and Predictions: Longoria Leads the Way for San Francisco

San Francisco looks to end a four-game losing skid on Friday at Wrigley Field. Backed by veteran third baseman Evan Longoria, we like the team from the Bay to do just that in our Giants vs. Cubs betting picks.

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2022 12:44 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Evan Longoria San Francisco Giants MLB
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The San Francisco Giants visit the Chicago Cubs on Friday in the opener of a three-game weekend series. The Giants come in having lost four straight, while the Cubs have dropped nine of their last 11.

With two lefties on the mound on Friday, there are opportunities to target prop bets on batters who feast on southpaws.

We’ll look at where the best value lies in our free MLB picks and predictions for Giants vs. Cubs on September 9.

Giants vs Cubs best odds

Giants vs Cubs picks and predictions

Bettors may be tempted to stay away from a September game featuring two teams that have played themselves far out of the playoff race. However, there’s still value to be found on prop bets inside the game, particularly when we consider how San Francisco batters have teed off against left-handed pitching this year.

The Giants have put up a .749 OPS against lefties, compared to just .685 against right-handed pitching. San Francisco’s home run rate is also much higher against southpaws. A Giants batter is homering every 26 plate appearances against lefties, compared to every 38 times at the plate against right-handers.

Cubs' starter Drew Smyly has never been great at keeping the ball in the yard. This year, he is allowing an average of 1.5 longballs per nine innings, well above the league average of 1.07 per game.

While Wrigley Field hasn’t surrendered many homers this year, that’s a bit misleading. The three-year rolling Park Factor shows that Wrigley is about average for home runs, with a 101 Park Factor for righthanded batters over that span.

That makes me think the Giants will go deep against Smyly at least once on Friday. The question then becomes where we can get the most value on a home run prop for a San Francisco batter. My pick is Evan Longoria, who should slot into the middle of the Giants lineup for this afternoon’s game.

Longoria may only have 12 home runs this year, but he has hit them in just 249 plate appearances. Like the rest of the San Francisco lineup, he has done better against lefthanded pitching, hitting .295 with a .875 OPS and six homers in just 106 plate appearances.

While line shopping is always important when placing bets, it is particularly critical with home run props, where the odds can vary tremendously between books. FanDuel is offering +340 on Longoria to go deep on Friday, a much more generous number than almost anywhere else in the market. I’m betting on Longoria to find the seats on Friday.

My best bet: Evan Longoria Over 0.5 home runs (+340 at FanDuel)

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Giants vs Cubs betting preview

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Side analysis Over/Under analysis Starting pitchers Injuries Weather Trend to know

Moneyline analysis

Both the Giants and Cubs have been playing poorly as of late. San Francisco remained on the fringes of the NL Wild Card race until the past three days when it lost four straight games, including a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.

Despite San Francisco’s struggles, starting pitcher Carlos Rodon has been a bright spot in his first season with the team. After an excellent 2021 with the Chicago White Sox that earned him Cy Young consideration, Rodon made a second consecutive All-Star Game in 2022.

His 2.34 FIP leads qualified National League pitchers, and his 1.5 strikeouts per nine innings are the best of any starter in MLB. Rodon has already faced the Cubs once this year, holding them to two hits in seven scoreless innings. While the Giants lineup is positioned well to score runs against Chicago starter Drew Smyly, the same can’t be said in reverse.

Despite being able to load their lineup with righthanded bats, the Cubs have actually hit slightly worse against southpaws this year, putting up just a .698 OPS against lefties compared to .705 vs. righties.

The Giants have been streaky and mediocre all year long, but the Cubs have been downright bad from Opening Day on. Chicago hasn’t played any better at home, either, going just 29-40 at Wrigley Field.

San Francisco is a deserving favorite, and with Rodon on the mound, it's surprising that the Giants are only priced at -154 on Friday.

Over/Under analysis

While neither of these teams has lit up the scoreboard this year, the Giants have stayed right around league average in runs scored, averaging 4.43 runs per game in 2022. As its peripheral numbers suggest, San Francisco has scored even better against lefthanded pitching, averaging 4.85 runs per game against lefty starters.

On the surface, the Cubs don’t have much of a platoon split in their offense. They’ve struggled against just about everyone, putting up just 4.09 runs per game on the season. However, that number actually drops quite a bit to 3.76 when a lefty takes the mound.

Considering the Giants are starting one of the best southpaws in the game in Carlos Rodon, Cubs batters could be in for a long day on Friday. The Giants will have a favorable matchup against lefty Drew Smyly. While Smyly has put up solid numbers in limited action for the Cubs this season, he has been vulnerable to the longball, and his 4.47 FIP suggests his relatively low 3.84 ERA has been a bit misleading.

It looks like a mild wind will be blowing towards left field on Friday at Wrigley. With plenty of right-handed bats in both lineups and a game time temperature that should be over 80 degrees, a couple of pulled fly balls to the outfield could clear the fences.

Giants vs Cubs game info

Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Date: Friday, September 9, 2022
First pitch: 4:05 p.m. ET
TV: NBCS-Bay Area, Marquee Sports Network-Chicago

Starting pitchers

Carlos Rodon (12-7, 2.92 ERA): Rodon has proven that his breakout 2021 season with the White Sox wasn’t a fluke. He is once again dominating this season in San Francisco, striking out 201 batters — already a career-high — in 157.1 innings of work. His peripherals are also excellent, as Rodon has put up a 2.34 FIP and a 1.061 WHIP this season. He is coming off six shutout innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on September 4, and in his only start against the Cubs this year, he struck out 10 over seven scoreless frames.

Drew Smyly (5-8, 3.84 ERA): Smyly missed over a month this year with an oblique injury. As a result, he has thrown just 91.1 innings in 19 starts this year. His numbers are hovering around his career averages, as he remains a solid lefty who throws strikes but allows too many home runs. Smyly allowed seven runs over just 2.1 innings of work to the St. Louis Cardinals in his last outing, while the Giants torched him for five runs over four innings — including two homers — when he faced them in San Francisco on July 30.

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 3-0-1 in the Giants’ last four games against left-handed starters. Find more MLB betting trends for Giants vs. Cubs

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