The Philadelphia Phillies (83-69) visit the Windy City to take on the Chicago Cubs (67-86) on Tuesday night. Both teams will have their aces on the mound as Zack Wheeler (11-7) projects as the starter for the Phillies and Marcus Stroman (4-7) will take the bump for the Cubs. First pitch is slated for 7:40 ET. Below we continue our MLB odds series with a Phillies-Cubs prediction and pick.
Zack Wheeler (11-7) takes the mound for the Phillies in just his second start since returning from the IL. Wheeler has been phenomenal when healthy this season, holding a .298 ERA to go along with his 151 strikeouts. In his return to action last week against the Blue Jays, Wheeler threw four scoreless innings – clearly handicapped by a pitch count. Wheeler has started one game previously against the Cubs this year. Despite a no-decision, Wheeler pitched 7 innings and allowed just one run.
Marcus Stroman (4-7) has had an up-and-down season in his inaugural campaign for the Cubs. After inking a big deal in free agency over the offseason, Stroman’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistency in his first year for the Cubs. For the season, Stroman holds a 3.80 ERA in 23 starts. He is coming off a solid performance against the Marlins which saw him give up 3 runs across 6 innings of work. In one previous start against the Phillies this season, Stroman pitched well – going 6 innings while only giving up a single run.
Here are the Phillies-Cubs MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Phillies-Cubs Odds
Philadelphia Phillies: -1.5 (+105)
Chicago Cubs: +1.5 (-126)
Over: 6.5 (-120)
Under: 6.5 (-102)
Why The Phillies Could Cover The Spread
The Phillies are hanging on for dear life in the wild card race as their lead over the Brewers has shrunk to just 1.5 games. That’s what losing 7 of your last 10 games will do to you. Philly has been mediocre down the stretch after a red hot summer. In September they’re just 10-11. Notably for betters: Philadelphia has covered in just 4 of their last 10 games.
Tonight’s game will be a homecoming for Phillies home run leader Kyle Schwarber. The National League’s home run king was a fan favorite and an integral part of Chicago’s 2016 World Series run. This year, Schwarber has had his usual struggles in the contact department (.214 average) but has had a stellar power year – blasting 42 home runs and driving in 87 runs. Schwarber hasn’t found that same luck in limited appearances against his former team though, as he is just 1-11 versus Chicago this year.
In 3 games against the Cubs coming into tonight, only third baseman Alec Bohm has found sustained success. Bohm is 5-11 against Chicago this year as the Cubs are just another of the many teams he’s faired well against. For the season the 26-year-old leads the team with a .291 average. He’s far from the only Phillies hitter seeing success this year, though. Philadelphia has scored the 3rd most runs in all of baseball and nearly 100 more than Chicago.
Why The Cubs Could Cover The Spread
Chicago comes into tonight’s game well out of playoff contention. The Cubs have been plagued by injuries and inconsistency this season but have still managed to replicate last year’s mediocre .438 winning percentage. They’ve faired better of late having won 6 of their last 10 games. However, for betting’s sake, the Cubs have covered the spread in just 3 of those 10 games.
Tristin McKinstry ·
Chicago’s lineup is not one with household names. In contrast to the Phillies’ experienced offense, Chicago has struggled to produce consistent runs this season. Centerfielder Ian Happ is perhaps the most well-known Cubs starter. Happ has put together another solid season – batting .270 with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs. Happ has been solid against the Phillies this year. In 15 plate appearances, the veteran has amassed 6 hits.
It is the play of prospect Nico Hoerner that gives the Cubs fans hope, both tonight and beyond. The shortstop leads the team in both batting averages this season at .290, and stolen bases with 18. This will be Hoerner’s second game back from a triceps injury but prior to the 2-week absence, the 25-year-old had hit .323 in the month of September. In his return to action on Sunday Hoerner went 1-5 in the Cubs’ victory over the Pirates.
Final Phillies-Cubs Prediction & Pick
Weather will certainly be a factor in this one as Chicago has approached fall rapidly in the last week. With a game-time temperature in the low 50s and 15 mph wind gusts, the offense should be hard to come by. That forecast combined with both teams throwing their top pitchers could result in a low-scoring game. If you’re looking for some action on the game I’d expect the Phillies to snap their losing streak but the best bet is on the under.
Final Phillies-Cubs Prediction & Pick: Under 6.5 (-102)