MLB Saturday May 20th Cubs at Phillies Betting Preview
Chicago Offense Exploded in Series Opener
Chicago is hoping that Friday night’s 10-1 victory gets them back on track heading into the May 20th Cubs at Phillies betting matchup. David Ross’s club had been swept in Houston three games this week and gave up 27 combined runs last Saturday and Sunday to the Twins for what was a five game losing streak.
The streaky Phillies have followed up a five game win streak for what is now their fifth straight defeat. Oddsmakers still like Philadelphia as a huge -165 favorite for Saturday’s matchup, their highest price tag since April 23rd in Colorado.
Why the Cubs Have Value on Saturday
Chicago looked good on Friday belting out 12 hits en route to the 10-1 victory as +117 underdogs. Nico Hoerner had a huge 3-6 night with 4 RBI while Christopher Morel hit his sixth HR in just nine games since being called up from Triple-A.
The Cubs have now plated 16 runs the last two games, but the biggest thing to take away from Friday’s victory was a solid pitching performance that allowed just 3 hits total. Marcus Stroman going 6.0 IP was great, but the bullpen throwing 3.0 shutout innings was an even better sign as Chicago relievers had been struggling lately. The Cubs had allowed 47 total runs in their previous five games before Friday’s victory.
Chicago starts Jameson Taillon (0-2, 6.66 ERA) in the May 20th Cubs at Phillies betting matchup. The right-hander has a 9.58 ERA in May since returning from the IL and Chicago is 0-6 in Taillon’s six starts this season.
Why the Phillies Have Value on Saturday
One thing Cubs fans were saying as they were scoring double-digit runs on Friday was “save some for tomorrow”, and Chicago could be due for an offensive dud after so much production in the opener. The Cubs also have a tougher pitching matchup, as Aaron Nola (3-3, 4.53 ERA) has thrown into the 7th in four of his last five starts.
Nola allowed 4 ER in his last start, but that was also at Coors Field. The right-hander held the Blue Jays to 2 ER in his lone home outing so far this month, and the Phillies are 39-19 in their last 58 games at Citizens Bank Park overall dating back to last month.
Philadelphia managed just 3 hits on Friday against Stroman, but he’s also second in the majors in quality starts (8). Things should go better against Taillon on Saturday, mostly because the Cubs starter has had an inconsistent year and not because the Phillies have hit just .232 as a team vs. the right-hander.
Free May 20th Cubs at Phillies Betting Pick
There’s not much value on Philadelphia at -165, but that price tag on a team that has lost five straight may be a tell all in itself. The Cubs are getting towards the end of a long road trip and may fade the rest of the way this weekend in Philadelphia, but would still be worth a small play at +140.
The best way to approach this game is on the total. Nola has been all over the map this month as has Taillon, and the over has hit in 10 of the last 11 Chicago games including in all seven on their current road trip. The under has only cashed twice in the last 11 Phillies games coming off a loss, so play this one on the high scoring side yet again.
Free Pick: Over 9