Chicago Cubs (68-59; 60-61-6 O/U) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (47-80; 58-70-9 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 1:35pm EST
Line: Chicago -180/Philadelphia +165
The Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies will conclude a three game series Sunday afternoon from Citizens Bank Park. The Cubs will give the call to 38-year old right-hander Jon Lackey, and the Phillies will send 24-year old right-hander Nick Pivetta to the hill. The Cubs lead the season series 3-2.
Lackey Looks to Rebound from Worst Start of Season
John Lackey will get the nod for the 25th time of the season, looking to rebound from a rough outing. Lackey conceded six runs in five innings to the Reds in his latest outing, and was charged with the loss to drop his record to 10-9. The veteran right-hander is having a solid second half however he still owns a 4.90 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 136 innings pitched. He allowed three runs in five innings in his lone start against the Phillies this season, and now sits at 5-4 with a stifling 2.77 ERA in 10 career starts against Philadelphia. Maikel Franco is 3 for 11 against Lackey, while Cesar Hernandez is 3 for 7, and Odubel Herrera is 5 for 13. Javier Baez continues to drive in runs at a rapid pace, collecting eight RBI’s over his last eight games. The 24-year old second baseman is having his best month of the season, currently hitting .273 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI’s. Baez has enjoyed success against the Phillies pitching this season, notching a hit in 8 of 19 at bats with four RBI’s.
The Cubs are red hot offensively and are now averaging 4.93 runs per game, good for seventh in the Majors, and feature a .251 team batting average. The Chicago pitching is looking strong, now sporting a 4.04 team ERA, ranking them eighth overall.
Pivetta Faces Cubs for First Time
Nick Pivetta will make his 20th start of the season, targeting his first win since late July. Pivetta was hit-hard in his previous start, serving up six runs in 1.1 innings to the Marlins and was charged with the loss. The rookie right-hander is struggling right now, posting a 6.73 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP to go with a 4-9 record in 95 innings pitched. Pivetta, who will be facing the Cubs for the first time, has conceded five home runs over his last four starts. Maikel Franco has fared well against the Cubs pitching this season, recording a hit in 7 of 19 at bats with five RBI’s. The 24-year old third baseman has been very inconsistent this season, and is now hitting .223 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI’s. Franco has only driven in six runs this month with a poor .202 average this month.
The Phillies are currently averaging 4.09 runs per game, ranking them 28th overall, and are hitting .248 as a team. The Philadelphia pitching owns a poor 4.70 team ERA, placing them down at 23rd overall.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 4-12 in their last 16 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.
The Philadelphia Phillies are:
- 7-1 in their last 8 Sunday games.
- 10-2 in their last 12 in the third game of a series.
I am taking a chance with the Phillies in this one however my stronger play is on the total. The Phillies are red-hot offensively, scoring 52 runs over their last seven games, and Lackey has struggled on the road this season, posting a poor 5.25 ERA, so I hoping the Phillies can do some damage at the dish. Furthermore, Pivetta has come through with some solid performances this season, so he definitely has the ability to keep his team in the game.
Pick: Philadelphia Phillies +165
Lackey has struggled on the road this season and Pivetta has struggled as of late. The Phillies are swinging the bats well and they did manage nine hits and three runs in five innings against Lackey earlier this season, and the over is 4-0 in Lackey’s last four starts . Pivetta has allowed 22 runs in his last 13.2 innings, and the over is 5-1 in the last six meetings between the Cubs and Phillies.