You wouldn’t have known by looking at the scoreboard that the Chicago Cubs were down by 3 runs. They rattled off 8 unanswered runs to take an 8-3 lead and get out of Wednesday night with an 8-4 victory. The win was highlighted by an Albert Almora grand slam in the 5th inning. He cleared the bases and the Cubs went up 7-3 with one swing of the bat.
That was the difference maker, as the Cubs would go on to win by 4 runs. It was the first grand slam of his career and it came it a critical point last night against the Phillies. With the win, the Cubs advanced to 29-18 on the season. The Brewers won as well, so their 2-game lead in the division stays intact. This division is shaping up to be all Brewers and Cubs.
The Phillies lost their second in a row at Wrigley Field after winning the series opener. It was a close one with a win for the Phillies in extra innings on Monday. Nevertheless, the Phillies are still up in the NL East by a game and a half. They are likely going to be playing hot and cold baseball all summer long. As a fan it’s going to be frustrating, but you have to take the cold streaks with really hot streaks when Bryce Harper is on your roster.
Following a four-game losing streak, the Phillies are on danger of losing three in a row Thursday afternoon at Wrigley. It sounds about right for the Phillies. They were looking pretty behind Cole Irvin last night, but the game unraveled for them on just one swing.
That was with 2 outs as well. Get an out there and the Phillies are in the game the entire way. Almora had different ideas, though, as he earned 4 RBI’s with just one swing. Aaron Nola will step in for the Phillies in the series finale, while ace Jon Lester is expected to go for the Cubs. Head below for our free Phillies vs. Cubs pick.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs Pick:
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Aaron Nola may have a rather average ERA of 4.47, but he goes into Wrigley on Thursday with a perfect record of 4-0. He’s been the beneficiary of solid run support this season and he’s been looking sharper recently. Nola posted an ERA of 3.00 in his previous three starts which helps his stats a bit.
Digging deeper, though, he was getting himself into trouble in his last two outings. He was fortunate to get out of innings without too much damage on the board. Nola has given up 13 hits and 4 walks across 9 innings in his last two games. However, he got out of it relatively well with only 4 earned runs.
His best effort has come at home this season, where Nola has been decent with a 3.82 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Not special by any means, but has work on the road paints a darker picture. Nola owns a rather shaky 6.14 ERA and .354 OBA on the road in 2019. He has given up 6 long balls away as opposed to just 3 at home in Philadelphia.
Compare that to Cubs’ starter, Jon Lester, who has felt right at home in Wrigley Field. Lester goes into this one boasting an ERA of 0.46 at home. He hasn’t surrendered a single home run up to this point in Chicago. In 19.2 innings pitched, Lester has given up only 1 run to the opposition.
The Phillies are hitting just .228 against Lester in 162 at-bats. He is coming off a shoddy performance against the Nats on the road, but he will be back in the friendly environment of Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon. Prior to that game, Lester had allowed just 1 run in his previous five appearances. He hasn’t allowed a run at Wrigley since April 25th against a very good Dodgers’ offense. It is hard to ignore Lester and the Cubs at this price in this matchup on Thursday.