The Philadelphia Phillies made it three wins in a row over the Colorado Rockies, as they swept after getting swept themselves against the Milwaukee Brewers. That’s a nice way to respond and get back on track after zero life against the Brewers. They won three games, lost three, and now they’ve won three in a row again.
It’s been a roller coaster for the Phillies thus far, as they’ve been up and down which includes Bryce Harper. Harper went all the way up against the Rockies, as he blasted two home runs, five hits, and 6 RBI’s in just two days. He can get hot and cold in an instant. For the money he is being paid to play baseball, Harper must be hot more often than not.
When he is firing on all cylinders, the Phillies are going to be a dangerous team to beat. Harper picked it up in the later stages of last season, but the Nationals were still floundering. With a better team around him in Philadelphia, it should be easier for him to see better team results.
Even though the Phillies haven’t really found a consistent groove so far, they’re still 1st in the NL East with a record of 27-19. That puts them 2.5 games ahead of the Braves in the division. As the Mets quickly fall into a dark hole, the NL East looks like a two-team race between the Braves and Phillies.
I think all the Mets did is provide some false hope early on. Robinson Cano failing to run out a groundball twice in three days is an ugly sign and doesn’t do anything for clubhouse chemistry. The Nationals and Marlins are already out of the picture, so that leaves the Braves and Phillies while everyone else is fairly dysfunctional. The Cubs are coming off a 6-5 win over the Nationals last night, as they avoided blowing a 6-1 lead to hold on for the win. Head below for our free Phillies vs. Cubs pick on Monday from Wrigley Field.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Cubs advanced to 27-17 on the season and 1.5 games ahead of the Brewers in the NL Central. The Pirates are staying around as they’re 3 games back, while the St. Louis Cardinals are in a tough slump that has pushed them back to 4th and 4.5 games out of 1st place.
The Reds are sitting lonely at the bottom with a record of 21-26. I don’t think anyone can completely be called out in this division, though. It’s still wide-open and even the Reds might have a run in them. Unlikely they catch 1st but we’ll see if Yasiel Puig can get hot in the summer and carry them.
What the Cubs need is for Yu Darvish to figure it out and put his head on straight. The Cubs may be 1st in the division right now, but they don’t have a World Series team without a strong rotation. Darvish is supposed to be No. 2 in the rotation, but he’s severely overrated in that role. Kyle Hendricks and Cole Hamels should move up a spot and bump Darvish down.
Darvish is the missing link right now who hasn’t been able to put it together in 2019. This goes back to last season as well, where the former ace posted an ERA of 4.95 in eight starts. Injuries have hurt his career since 2017 and he has never been able to get his ERA below 4.00 since.
Darvish has had issues containing the Phillies in his career. They’re hitting .345 with a .406 OBP in 29 at-bats. This will be Bryce Harper’s first game against Darvish, but Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera, and Maikel Franco have all had success with batting averages of .500.
Arrieta will return to Wrigley where he spent five years of his career. He hasn’t been too hot recently either, but I have more faith in Arrieta than Darvish. After Javier Baez left with a heel injury yesterday, Arrieta may have to deal with one less bat in the Chicago lineup. I think what you see is what you get with Darvish now. His elite days are in the rear-view mirror. He has been getting torched at Wrigley this season for an ERA of 6.38, .381 OBA, and 1.69 WHIP. I don’t feel comfortable laying -135 on Darvish here, so the Phillies look like a decent option as an underdog on Monday night.