Chicago Cubs (68-58; 60-60-6 O/U) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (46-80; 58-59-9 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 7:05pm EST
Line: Chicago -190/Philadelphia +170
The Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs will continue a three game series Saturday evening from Citizens Bank Park. The Cubs will give the call to 27-year old right-hander Kyle Hendricks, and the Phillies will send 25-year old right-hander Ben Lively to the mound. The Cubs won three of four over the Phillies earlier in the season.
Hendricks Targets Third Straight Quality Start
Kyle Hendricks will take the mound for the 18th time of the season, looking to finally get back in the win column. Hendricks tallied the Quality Start in his latest outing, holding the Blue Jays to three runs in six innings and finished with the no decision. The third-year right-hander has been outstanding this month, however he has no wins to show for his efforts, and now sits at 4-4 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP in 94.2 innings pitched. He has yet to face the Phillies this season and has held them to six runs with a 2-1 record in 20.2 career innings. Maikel Franco is 1 for 6 against Hendricks, while Freddy Galvis is 3 for 6, and Odubel Herrera is 2 for 9. Anthony Rizzo is on an RBI rampage, accumulating 14 RBI’s over his last ten games, and is hitting .318 this month. The 28-year old first baseman is having a terrific season, sporting a .269 average with 28 home runs and 85 RBI’s. Rizzo is only 1 for 15 against the Phillies this season.
The Cubs are currently averaging 4.93 runs per game, ranking them seventh in the Majors, and feature a .251 team batting average. The Chicago pitching is looking strong, sporting a 4.04 team ERA, good for eighth in the Majors.
Lively Solid in No Decision Against Giants
Ben Lively will get the nod for the ninth time of the season, aiming for his second victory. Lively was sharp in his previous start, holding the Giants to two runs over six innings and finished with the no decision in a game the Giants won 5-2. The 6-foot-4 right-hander is having a promising rookie campaign, sporting a 3.70 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP to go with a 1-4 record in 48.2 innings of work. Lively has pitched at least six innings in six of his eight starts. Rhys Hoskins continues to impress at the plate, smashing five home runs along with an incredible 14 RBI’s over his last six games. The 24-year old left fielder is off to a phenomenal start to his Major League career, driving in 19 runs along with eight home runs in 15 games played. The Phillies are 3-7 over their last ten games.
The low-scoring Phillies are averaging 4.09 runs per game, ranking them down at 28th overall, and are hitting .248 as a team. The Philadelphia pitching has been below average, posting a 4.70 team ERA, positioning them 23rd overall.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 13-1 in Hendricks’ last 14 Saturday starts.
- 14-3 in their last 17 road games against a right-handed starter.
- 8-2 in their last 10 games against the Phillies.
The Philadelphia Phillies are:
- 1-6 in Lively’s last 7 starts.
- 0-6 in their last 6 home games against a right-handed starter.
- 0-5 in Lively’ last 5 starts following a Quality Start in his previous appearance.
I am taking the Cubs on the run line in this contest, however my stronger play is on the total. Hendricks has limited the Phillies to only six runs in 20.2 career innings, so he should have no problem shutting them down. Also, Lively is inexperienced, and he will have his hands full against a Cubs team that is averaging 7.4 runs over their last ten games.
Pick: Chicago Cubs -1.5
Hendricks continues to log a Quality Start on most nights and Lively has also looked good this season. The Phillies will likely have trouble mounting any substantial offense, especially with all the rookies in the Phillies lineup, and the under is 5-1 in Hendricks’ last six starts overall . Lively has tallied six Quality Starts in his eight starts this season, and the under is 6-1-1 in his last eight starts overall.