The Chicago Cubs (37-40, 20-18 home) face off against the Philadelphia Phillies (41-37, 20-23 away) in the second contest of a three-game series in the Windy City. Philadelphia cruised in the opener, dropping the Cubs 5-1 behind a strong pitching performance by Ranger Suarez.
Wednesday’s first pitch is at 8:05 p.m. EST inside Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Philadelphia is the betting favorite (-130 moneyline), and the over/under total is eight runs.
What to Know – Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies have won two in a row and three of their last four matchups heading into the midweek tilt. Philadelphia has some ground to make up in the second half of the season, trailing the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves by 10.5 runs.
Right-hander Aaron Nola (6-5, 4.38 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) is the probable starter for the Phillies. Nola looks to close out the month of June on a high note with another strong performance after blanking the Atlanta Braves over six innings in his last trip to the mound. Through 16 starts, Nola has pitched 100.2 innings, allowing 49 earned runs, 82 hits, 26 walks, and striking out 98 batters.
Philadelphia’s offense is tenth in the league batting .257 as a team and averaging 4.4 runs per contest. The Phillies pitching staff ranks 16th in the majors with a 4.19 team earned run average.
Alec Bohm paces the Phillies offense with a team-high 47 runs batted in while Nick Castellanos is next in line with 45 RBIs and a .312 batting average. Kyle Schwarber has smacked 20 home runs and drove in 42 runs, although he’s hitting just .185.
What to Know – Chicago Cubs
Chicago rides a two-game skid into Wednesday’s matchup after winning four in a row at the end of last week. The Cubs sit below .500 but find themselves only 3.5 games outside of first place in the NL Central.
Southpaw Drew Smyly (7-4, 3.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) gets the call for the Cubbies. With a victory, the left-hander can capture his third win in as many starts. Smyly has thrown 82.2 innings in 15 appearances, surrendering 31 earned runs on 75 hits and 26 walks while punching out 69 batters.
Offensively, the Cubs are 16th in the MLB hitting .247 as a team and scoring 4.6 runs per game. Chicago’s pitching staff is 12th amongst league teams sporting a 3.93 team ERA.
The bats of Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ have guided the Cubs’ offense through the first half of the season. Hoerner is hitting .282 with 40 RBIs, while Happ adds seven home runs and 37 RBIs. Patrick Wisdom leads the Cubs with 14 home runs.
The Pick is In
Philadelphia is in a good spot to take another from the Cubbies with Nola on the hill. The Phillies have won seven-straight road contests and have their ace on the mound after a shutout in his last appearance. We like Philadelphia to keep the good times going on the road.
The Pick: Philadelphia Phillies ML