The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs meet for the sixth time this season on Wednesday.
Philadelphia has a chance to post a winning record after falling back to .500 with a 6-3 loss to the visiting Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
Chicago is the MLB betting underdog for this game, so bookmakers are expecting a bounce-back effort from the home side.
Not the Time to be Losing
The Phillies have won just one of their last five games, which isn’t ideal when you’re chasing the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
Philadelphia is 4½ games behind the Braves, so a win over the Cubs could help bridge the gap. There is no reason why the Phillies have struggled over the last couple of weeks, but Bryce Harper is doing all he can to stem the flow.
RT if you think Bryce Harper will win NL MVP this year
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 9, 2021
Harper leads the team in RBIs, home runs and batting average. He played well in the loss, but it wasn’t enough for the Phillies to win. They are now 72-72 and manager Joe Girardi was honest about what they need to do.
“We’re working every day, we’re trying to get guys right,” Girardi told ESPN. “We still have an opportunity here. We just need to play better.”
Another problem has been starting pitching, which Ranger Suarez will hope to remedy. He is 6-4 with an ERA of 1.38, so he has done enough from his 78 innings to suggest he could pitch a gem on Wednesday.
Girardi is growing frustrated with his pitchers’ lack of execution on 0-2 pitches.
“There’s too many 0-2 pitches right in the heart of the zone,” Girardi said. “If a guy takes a pitch down and away and it’s just on the corner and he hits that, you kind of go, ‘OK.’ But not the ones that are in the heart.”
Now is not the right time for the Phillies to be losing, but they are -200 with MLB lines. It’s a short line for a team that is playing poorly, but there is still a confidence surrounding the Phillies.
Cubs Hoping to Build on Win
It had been a tough time for the Chicago Cubs against Philadelphia. They had won only one of the first four meetings before Tuesday’s 6-3 win and the run differential was sizable.
The Phillies have teed off on the Cubs on three occasions, including 15-10 and a 13-3 wins. In Philadelphia’s three wins against Chicago, it has scored 36 runs.
That’s the task awaiting Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills, who is 6-6. With an ERA of 4.35, Mills has been solid without being fantastic.
The 29-year-old has allowed 12 home runs, but the Cubs have won his last three outings. He pitched six innings for four hits and one run against the Cincinnati Reds last week, which followed another quality outing against the Chicago White Sox last month.
Mills pitched 8.1 innings and didn’t allow a run in the 7-0 win, so he’s pitching well.
The sportsbook is offering value odds for Chicago to win at +170, which could shorten on game day as there isn’t much between the Cubs and Phillies and betting on MLB underdogs is a sound strategy.
Cubs vs Phillies Betting Trends
The Cubs are 2-7 in the last nine meetings with Philadelphia and 2-5 in the last seven in Philadelphia.
They are also 6-25 in the last 31 games vs a team with a winning record. Philadelphia is at .500, but it’s still a concerning statistic for Cubs backers.
Chicago is 1-12 in its last 13 road games vs a left-handed starter, so hitting off Suarez could be tough. The over is 6-1 in the last seven meetings, so over 8½ runs could be worth a play. MLB odds have the over at -110.
Cubs vs Phillies Pick
We’re expecting plenty of runs and most of them should come off the Philadelphia bats.
The bookmakers line of -200 is short, but the Phillies should bounce back given how desperate they are to keep in touch with Atlanta.
We also suggest adding over 8½ to your tickets.
Pick: Philadelphia Phillies -200