It’s a split slate for MLB on Wednesday. There are nine games set to get underway this afternoon, and another six on tap for tonight. On the latter part of the docket, a meeting of two playoff contenders in the National League is at the top of our list.
The NL Central leading Chicago Cubs are in Philadelphia for the second of a three-game set with the Phillies. The hosts got the win on Tuesday in a pretty low-scoring contest. We could see the bats held in check once again as there’s a solid pitching matchup for tonight’s tilt.
Both squads enter this evening’s game with records of 2-3 over their last five outings. The Cubs are hanging on to a slim lead in the NL Central, while the Phillies are looking to make up ground in the NL East while maintaining pace in the Wild Card chase.
It should be an entertaining evening at the ballpark for this nationally televised contest. Let’s take a look at this game in full detail, starting with the way the MLB betting sites see it.
Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 7:05 PM EST, ESPN
Cubs vs. Phillies Pick:
This series opened up on Tuesday with a 4-2 victory for Philadelphia. It was all tied up at two apiece after six innings, but a JT Realmuto RBI double in the 7th put the hosts on top. Roman Quinn put the icing on the cake an inning later with an RBI triple.
Chicago was in Cincinnati over the weekend for a four-game set with the Reds. They split the four games, winning the finale by a score of 6-3. Kris Bryant was among the offensive heroes for the victors with a three-run shot in the 7th.
Philadelphia spent the weekend out on the West Coast. It didn’t go well. The team dropped three of four to the San Francisco Giants. The hosts opened up the series with a 5-0 shutout victory and closed things out on Sunday with a 9-6 win.
The Cubs are in 1st place in the NL Central. They’re a game in front of the St. Louis Cardinals, and 2.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Phillies are in 3rd place in the NL East, nine games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves. The club is two games back in the Wild Card hunt.
The Cubs are in the middle of a 10-game road trip. They’re 2-3 thus far and have struggled overall in away games this year with a mark of 23-36. It’s a different story on the home field as the record stands at 41-19 for the season.
The club has only been slightly above average recently with a record of 6-4 over the last 10 games. Since the All-Star break, Chicago is 5-3-1 through nine series. The Cubs are among the league leaders in run differential at +75 for the season to date.
Tuesday’s game marked the beginning of a six-game homestand for the Phillies. The team is 35-26 on the home field for the year, but just 26-32 in road tilts. Philadelphia has been struggling recently, losing its last three series in a row.
Over the last 10 games, the club is just 4-6. Since the break, the team has dropped five of nine series. The Phillies have a matching record with the surging New York Mets in the NL East with both teams nine games back of the Braves. Philadelphia is -31 on run differential for the year.
Chicago has the overall advantage at the plate, but bats on both sides have produced similar results recently. Kris Bryant is batting .292 to lead the way for the Cubs. Javier Baez is the team leader with 28 homers and 81 ribbies. Jean Segura tops the Phillies with a .284 BA. Rhys Hoskins leads with 24 HRs, while Bryce Harper leads with 80 RBIs.
Hamels is having a solid year overall, despite missing the month of July with an oblique strain. However, he has had a number of short stints recently and hasn’t picked up a win since way back in June. Last time out, he gave up four earned runs over three innings in a no-decision versus the Reds. Nola is also having a solid season and has wins in two of his last three. For his last start, he took the loss versus the Giants while giving up three earned runs over five innings.
When the relievers get involved, the advantage goes to the Cubs. Since returning from the IL, Hamels has pitched a total of eight innings over two starts. Prior to going down to injury, he lasted seven innings or more in four of his last five games. Nola has pitched at least five innings for his last 10 starts in a row. He has made it through six innings or more eight times over that span.
This series will be the final time these two clubs hook up in the regular season. The Phillies hold a 3-2 advantage for the season series. They’re 1-0 at home versus Chicago, while the clubs have split four games at Wrigley Field.
Two solid pitchers on the hill should make for an interesting game, but Hamels seems to still be rounding himself back into form. Add in the overall struggles of Chicago on the road, and we find ourselves leaning in the other direction. We like Philadelphia to get the win in game two of this set.