The Cubs enter play on Wednesday with a 66-79 overall record and they’ve struggled on the road, winning just 23 of 70 games away from Wrigley Field. Meanwhile, the Phillies come in 4.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves with a 72-72 overall mark. Philadelphia remains three games back of the final Wild Card spot in the National League.
Can the Phillies close out this series with a win at home against the Cubs on Thursday night?
Hendricks to close out series for Cubs in PhiladelphiaThe Chicago Cubs are set to bring out right-hander Kyle Hendricks for Thursday’s night matchup against the Phillies. The 31-year-old is 14-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 29 starts and he is looking to build off of a quality outing in his last start against the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs’ right-hander bounced back in his previous trip to the mound, limiting the Giants to just one run in six innings of work before leaving with a no-decision on the night. Hendricks is coming off of a disappointing month in August in which he posted a 7.81 ERA, his highest mark in any month this year.
Kyle Hendricks, 89mph Sinker and 81mph Changeup, Overlay/slow. pic.twitter.com/1FkXB8eWJv— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 10, 2021
Despite his recent struggles, the Cubs’ veteran has out-pitched his peripherals for the better part of the 2021 season. Hendricks has struck out just 6.59 batters and walked 2.16 batters per nine innings of work. He’s also struggled with the long ball, giving up a career-worst 1.57 home runs per nine this year.
Hendricks has made six career starts versus Philadelphia, finishing 4-2 with a 3.26 ERA in those contests. This will be his first start against the Phillies this season. According to Baseball Savant, current Phillies are batting only .216 in 125 plate appearances off of the Cubs’ right-hander heading into Thursday’s contest.
Harper's hot-streak not enough for PhilliesJust when it looked like the Phillies had a chance to climb back into contention in the National League postseason race, things started to go downhill in Philadelphia. The Phillies have crumbled under the pressure of returning to the National League Playoffs, dropping eight of their last 11 games, including their series opener against the Cubs on Tuesday. Six of those eight losses have come versus sub-.500 teams.
Philadelphia has gone ice cold at the plate during that stretch, scoring three runs or fewer seven times while averaging just 3.8 runs per game in that span. Despite the team-wide struggles, outfielder Bryce Harper remains red-hot for the Phillies. Over the last seven days, the Phillies slugger has mashed four home runs while batting .444 with seven RBIs and an other-worldly 1.767 OPS.
The Phillies have yet to announce a starter for Thursday’s series finale against the Cubs.
- Cubs are 9-4 in their last 13 overall.
- Cubs are 4-1 in their last 5 road games.
- Phillies are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. National League Central.
- Phillies are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Phillies are 1-4 in their last 5 home games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Phillies have been stumbling down the stretch, which should leave some value on the Cubs in this spot. Hendricks has been awful over the last month, posting an 8.15 ERA over his last six starts combined. However, he showed some signs of life in his last start, logging a quality start at home against the playoff-bound Giants. With the Phillies struggling at the plate and Chicago trending up over the last few weeks, take the Cubs to close this series with a win on Thursday night.
Full-Game Total Pick
There should be no shortage of runs in this one. As good as Hendricks’ overall record looks on paper, the Cubs’ right-hander has been struggling to finish the season on a high note. He’s posted an 8.15 ERA over his last six starts, allowing at least four earned runs in four of his last six starts. On offense, the Cubs have scored four runs or more in five of their last seven contests. On the other hand, Philadelphia is due for some positive regression at the plate after scoring three runs or fewer for the fifth time in seven games during Tuesday’s series opener. Take this game to go over the projected total in Philadelphia on Thursday evening.