Phillies vs. Cubs
Where: Wrigley, San Francisco
When: June 6th, 2018 8:05PM ET
Moneyline: Phillies +119 / Cubs -129
By Prognosticator Darin Zank
The Phillies were struggling recently but took the opener of a three-game series with the Cubs Tuesday night at Wrigley. How are we playing Wednesday night’s contest between these longtime rivals (8:05 pm ET)?
After winning just 66 games last year, Philly went off this season with a “total wins” over/under of 78.5. The Phillies are now almost halfway to last season’s win total and on a pace to win 88, which would be an easy over on their prop bet. That all being said there was a degree of discontent with this team coming into this series after getting swept three games at San Francisco over the weekend, scoring a total of one run in the process. And that run came on a solo homer by pitcher Jake Arrieta. So the Phillies had lost four of their previous five games and 10 of their previous 16, heading into this series.
However, Philadelphia woke up in time to take Tuesday night’s series opener 6-1, cashing in as +190 underdogs on the MLB betting odds.
So at 32-26, the Phillies sit 2.5 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Chicago, meanwhile, won 92 games last year, then went off this season against an O/U of 94. And after sweeping four games from the Mets in New York over the weekend, the Cubs were on a pace to win 95. Going back a bit Chicago’s won three series in a row and eight of its previous ten games, through the weekend.
At 33-24 the Cubs trail division-leading Milwaukee by two games in the NL Central, but also own the top NL wild-card spot.
Most MLB betting lines opened Chicago at around -135 for this game, and that number was fallen slightly in early action to -131. Cubs’ Bettors: The best line is at 5Dimes with a 129 posted on their board.
This series is the first encounter this season between these two longtime rivals. Last year Chicago took the season series from Philly four games to three, with the overs going 5-1-1, as the games trended high-scoring.
Wednesday’s Pitching Match-Up
Lefty Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.30), by our tough standards, is 5-for-11 on quality starts this season, but two for his last three. Last Friday he tossed six scoreless innings against the Mets in a 5-1 Cubs win, and over his last three starts, he’s allowed four runs on 17 base-runners (hits + walks) through 17 1/3 innings. On the season Quintana’s allowed 54 hits through 58 2/3 innings, but he has issued 29 walks, which is too many and allowed eight homers.
Chicago is 7-4 with Quintana this season, the unders 6-5.
In one start last year against Philadelphia Quintana gave up six runs in the first two innings of a 7-1 Cubs loss.
Righty Aaron Nola (7-2, 2.18) is off to an excellent start to this season. He’s 9-for-12 on quality starts, and that includes nine for his last 10. Last Friday he held the Dodgers to one run and two hits through seven innings, and just before that he held Toronto to one run through 6 2/3, with ten strikeouts. On the season Nola has allowed just 55 hits through 78 1/3 innings, with a K/BB ratio of 74/18.
The Phillies are 8-4 with Nola this year, with unders going 9-2-1.
This will be Nola’s first appearance against Chicago since his first, back in 2015, when he gave up four runs in 7 2/3 innings of an 11-5 Philly victory.
We’re giving Nola and the Phillies the check-mark in the pitching match-up.
Into this series, Philadelphia ranked 22nd in the Majors against left-handed pitching with a .231 team batting average, 13th with a .326 team OBP but just 29th with a .353 team slugging percentage.
Chicago, meanwhile, ranked 2nd against right-handed pitching with a .266 BA, 1st with a .348 OBP and 4th with a .432 slugging percentage.
It’s pretty clear the Cubs own the advantage with the sticks here.
The Phillies bullpen ranked 10th in ERA at 3.59 and 12th in WHIP at 1.30, while converting 14 of 20 save opportunities.
The Cubs pen, meanwhile, ranked 2nd in ERA at 2.59 and 6th in WHIP at 1.20, while going 16-for-21 on save opportunities.
So Chicago also own the edge in the bullpen comparison.
Free MLB Pick
Despite Tuesday’s result the Cubs are trending in the right direction as of late. We’re betting Chicago here at the short price.