Chicago Cubs (68-57 SU, 51-74 RL, 60-59-6 O/U) vs Philadelphia, Phillies (46-79 SU, 64-61 RL, 57-59-9 O/U)
When: 7:05 PM EDT, Friday, August 25, 2017
Where: Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA
Lines: Chicago -173/ Philadelphia +163
Tonight on the MLB diamond, the National League Central will take on the National League East as the Chicago Cubs battle it out with the Philadelphia Phillies in game one of their three-game series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. Pitching Probables: The Cubs will trot out Jose Quintana (8-10, 4.27 ERA) in this one and the Phillies will counter with Jerad Eickhoff (3-7, 4.46 ERA).
Have The Cubs Figured Things Out?
The Chicago Cubs are starting to put it together as they have won their last five games in a row and eight of their last 11 games, after topping the Reds by a score of 9-3 in game two of this series. The Cubs have now opened up a 4.5 game lead over the Brewers in the National League Central. The offense has been on fire of late as they have averaged 7.90 rpg over their last 10 games and it has been a complete team effort as no one is really on fire. The Cubs still have to have some concerns about their pitching as they have a 4.75 ERA over their last 10 games, including an ERA of 6.32 from their pen over that stretch. Jon Lester is current on the DL, which will hurt the rotation. The Cubs are 5th in the league in pen ERA so it is a bit of a shock that the pen is struggling. The Cubs have gone 33-29 on the road and have averaged 4.86 rpg and have allowed 4.08 rpg in those games. Getting the nod for the Cubs in this one will be Jose Quintana and he has gone 8-10 with a 4.27 ERA in 25 starts on the year overall, including 4-2 with a 3.73 ERA in seven starts as a member of the Cubs and 4-6 with a 3.63 ERA in 13 starts on the road. Quintana has gone 10-9 with a 4.01 ERA in 31 starts in August, while against the Phillies in his career he has gone 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in one start.
The Cubs have been a good offensive team so far as they come in ranked 7th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.95 rpg, while also ranking 19th in hitting at .251 and 8th in homers with 179. On the mound, they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in ERA at 4.04, while also ranking 10th in WHIP at 1.29.
Leiter Gives The Phillies Seven Strong
Last year, the Phillies showed some promise late in the year from their pitching staff, but it just didn’t carry over to this year. The Phillies have not had great pitching overall, but they have signs of promise with Aaron Nola and Ben Lively pitching well and now we can add rookie Mark Leiter to the mix after her there seven shutout innings against the Marlins in his last start and allowed just one hit and two walks in the game. He has spent most of his time in the pen this year, but has made five starts and he is now 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA in those starts. The Phils won the game 8-0 and staying hot on offense was Rhys Hoskins, who hit a homer and drove in five runs in the game. He is a beast and is now has seven homers, 11 runs and 16 RBIs and folks, he has played in just 14 games. He gives the Phills a boost on offense and they have averaged 4.76 rpg in his last 13 games played and 7.4 rpg in his last five. Learn his name as you will see it a lot the rest of this and into next year and beyond. The Phillies will be sending out Jerad Eickhoff and he has gone 3-7 with a 4.46 ERA in 22 starts on the year, including 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in his last three starts and 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA in 10 starts here at home. Eickhoff has gone 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA in 12 starts during the month of August in his career and he is 9-109 with a 3.30 ERA in 30 career starts here at Citizens Bank Park, while against the Cubs overall he has gone 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts.
The Phillies have been a bad offensive team so far as they come in ranked 28th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.06 rpg, while also ranking 22nd in hitting at .248 and 27th in homers with 133. On the mound, they have been a bit below average as they come in ranked 22nd in the league in ERA at 4.66, while also ranking 22nd in WHIP at 1.40.
- The Over is 7-2-1 in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
- The Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Philadelphia
- The Over is 4-0 in their last four during game one of a series
- The Over is 4-0 in Eickhoff’s last four starts during game one of a series
The Cubs coming into this series playing very well and they now have some breathing room in the National League Central, but the Phillies have been playing better of late, especially on offense and the catalyst has been Rhys Hoskins. Prior to their game on Thursday, the Phillies had averaged 7.4 rpg in their previous five games and should be able to get that offense going against Quintana, who has pitched well this year and a Chicago pen, that has a 6.75 ERA in their last 10 games. The Phillies have pitching woes of their own of late as they have allowed 6.30 rpg in their 10 games prior to Thursday. Jerad Eickhoff has not pitched badly for the Phillies, be he will be taking on a hot Chicago offense that has averaged 7.90 rpg in their last 10- games and behind him is a pen that has a 4.93 ERA in their last 10 games. I look for this to be a complete slugfest.