A pair of National League teams are on the diamond as they continue a series in the City of Brotherly Love. The Chicago Cubs are on the road as they play the middle game of a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday night. Chicago was swept over the weekend at home by San Francisco, dropping the finale of the series 6-5 Sunday afternoon. Philadelphia lost three of four at home to Colorado over the weekend, falling 5-4 in the series finale Sunday afternoon. This article was published prior to the conclusion of the series opener at Citizens Bank Park, which took place Tuesday night.
Chicago Cubs Looking to Keep Phillies SlidingChicago was swept at home by San Francisco with their loss Sunday their fourth in the last five games. The Cubs entered Tuesday fourth in the NL Central, 24 games behind the Brewers for the division lead. In the NL wild-card picture, the team was 10 games behind the Reds for the second wild-card spot. On Sunday, Chicago got two hits each from Rafael Ortega (run) and Ian Happ (run, RBI) in the loss. Happ hit his 22nd homer of the season in the contest. The Cubs had the tying run on second with one out in the ninth but couldn’t cash in. Justin Steele (3-3) took the loss as he allowed five runs on 11 hits with two walks and four strikeouts over five innings of work.
Alec Mills is expected to toe the slab and make his 29th appearance, 17th start, of the season for the Cubs here. He comes in 6-6 with one save, a 4.35 ERA, a 1.382 WHIP, 26 walks and 74 strikeouts over 101.1 innings of work on the year. Mills didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came last Wednesday at home against the Reds. He threw six innings, allowing one run on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in a game the Cubs went on to win 4-1 in 10 innings. On the road this season, Mills is 2-4 with a 4.29 ERA, a 1.45 WHIP, 19 walks and 42 strikeouts over 50.1 innings in 13 appearances, eight starts. Mills makes his third career appearance and second start against the Phillies in this contest. He comes in 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA, a 1.029 WHIP, three walks and nine strikeouts over 11.2 innings of work. Mills didn’t factor in the decision in his lone career outing at Citizens Bank Park, which came in relief on August 14, 2019. He threw six innings, allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in an 11-1 Cubs defeat.
Philadelphia Phillies Trying to Hang in NL Playoff PicturePhiladelphia lost for the fifth time in six games as they dropped the series finale at home to Colorado Sunday afternoon. The Phillies entered Tuesday second in the NL East, 4.5 games behind the Braves for the division lead. In the NL wild-card picture, the team was 2.5 games behind the Reds for the second wild-card spot. On Sunday, Philadelphia got three hits from J.T. Realmuto (two runs, RBI) while the rest of the team was a combined four for 29. Bryce Harper hit his 32nd homer of the season in a losing effort. Aaron Nola didn’t factor in the decision as he went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. Hector Neris (3-6) took the loss as he gave up two runs on two hits with no walks or strikeouts in one inning of work.
Ranger Suarez is on the mound for the Phillies as he logs his 36th appearance and ninth start of the season in this contest. He is 6-4 with four saves, a 1.38 ERA, a 1.026 WHIP, 30 walks and 78 strikeouts over 78 innings of work on the season. Suarez didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came Thursday at home against the Rockies. He threw six innings, allowing one run on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts in a game the Phillies eventually lost by a 4-3 score. At home this season, Suarez is 5-0 with three saves, a 1.41 ERA, a 0.896 WHIP, 13 walks and 45 strikeouts over 44.2 innings in 19 appearances, five starts. Suarez makes his third career appearance and first start against the Cubs in this contest. He comes in 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, a 1.333 WHIP, three walks and three strikeouts over three innings of work. Suarez is 9-1 with three saves, a 2.44 ERA, a 1.216 WHIP, 25 walks and 71 strikeouts over 77.1 innings in 39 career appearances, seven starts, at Citizens Bank Park.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Cubs are 1-12 in their last 13 road games vs. a left-handed starter
- Cubs are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. National League East
- No Key Trends
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cubs had a nice run last week, winning seven of eight, but have lost four of their last five entering Tuesday’s action. Chicago is playing for pride and to figure out which pieces may stick around to be useful in 2022, but their chances at the postseason are pretty much non-existent at this point. Philadelphia is still in the thick of the NL East and the NL wild-card chases but they have to turn things around in a hurry. Losing three of four at home to the Rockies didn’t inspire much in the way of confidence. With that said, Suarez has been rock solid this season and has turned into a good starter after being converted from the bullpen. The Phillies still have something to play for and with Suarez doing the job on the mound, you have to give them the advantage in this contest.
Full-Game Total Pick
Chicago has had their issues putting runs on the board this season, more so since dealing away Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo at the trade deadline. The Cubs are going to have to deal with a pitcher in Suarez who has done an excellent job of keeping opposing lineups in check this season, as his peripherals would point out. Mills has seen an average of 8.4 runs per game in his last 10 starts. That drops to 7.6 runs per game in his last five starts, during which the under is 3-2. Meanwhile, Suarez has seen an average of seven runs per game in his eight starts with the under hitting in six of them. Given the way he’s held opposing hitters in check and the Cubs’ makeshift lineup, this one winds up short of the mark.