A pair of first-place teams in the National League will resume their four-game series on Wednesday night. The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies have split the first two games of the series, and both contests have been one-run affairs. This series has been extremely competitive, and it can’t help but feel like a playoff preview of a series to be played in October.
The Phillies won the series opener on Monday night by a score of 5-4 in 10 innings. It was Philadelphia’s fourth win in a row, and they come into this game with a record of 28-20. The Cubs were able to snap the Phillies’ winning streak on Tuesday night with a walk-off 3-2 victory. Chicago leads the National League Central Division with a record of 28-18. The Chicago Cubs are -144 over the Philadelphia Phillies in game three of the series.
Hamels on Mound For Cubs
Veteran Cole Hamels will be on the mound for the Cubs in this game, and he will be facing his former team. Hamels helped the Phillies win a World Series title and is trying to do the same with the Cubs. The lefty is 4-0 with a 3.13 earned run average so far this season and is one of the best-ever pitchers at historic Wrigley Field. The Cubs will need Hamels to go deep in this game as their bullpen is really struggling of late.
Shortstop Javier Baez hasn’t started the last two nights but came off the bench to deliver the game-winning hit on Tuesday night. Baez has picked up where he left off from a season ago, leading the team with a .323 batting average and 32 runs batted in. The Cubs have one of the most feared lineups in baseball and have four different players with at least 11 home runs this season. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant are always a threat to drive in runs in that lineup.
Phillies Offense Has Some Depth
Rhys Hoskins was a one-man wrecking crew for the Philadelphia Phillies last season, but he has some help this year. Hoskins still leads the team with 11 home runs and 36 runs batted in, but other guys have put up good numbers as well. Shortstop Jean Segura leads the team with a .318 batting average, and Bryce Harper has belted nine home runs. This Phillies team will do plenty of damage throughout the season.
It will be a battle of Coles as Cole Irvin will take the ball for the Phillies in this game. Irvin has gone 2-0 in his first two starts of the season and has allowed just four earned runs in his 13 innings of work. The rookie has faced a pair of struggling lineups in his first two starts, and this could be a real test for him. The Phillies bullpen has struggled to get outs in this series as well.
Cubs Win Second Straight Game
Expect another close game on Wednesday night as these two teams are pretty evenly matched. The big difference will be on the mound, and the Cubs have a huge edge in starting pitching. Look for the Cubs offense to wear down the rookie Irvin in earning their second straight win. Bet the Chicago Cubs -144 over the Philadelphia Phillies.