The online sportsbook favors the Cubs with moneyline odds at -142 while the Phillies are listed at +127, with the overall run total at 11 runs showing the expectation for a high-scoring game.
The Cubs will enter Monday’s matchup having lost nine straight games. They are 42-42 and 8.5 games out of first place in the National League Central Division.
Chicago’s Star third baseman, Kris Bryant, voiced his frustrations Saturday after the Cubs dropped a 3-2 affair to the Cincinnati Reds.
“You’ve got to forget about what happened, and we haven’t been able to do that the last week, two weeks,” said Bryant. Many have speculated whether the Cubs would be buyers or sellers at the deadline, and with a general attitude of helplessness like Bryant expressed, it is unlikely that they will have the ambition to pursue a major haul on the player market.
Chicago’s bullpen has done its job, notching the league’s 12th-best combined ERA and recording 23 saves, good for seventh in the majors. The offense, on the other hand, has been inconsistent, to say the least.
The Cubs have hit the seventh-most home runs in baseball thanks to a balanced effort from six batters with double-digit totals and have the explosive capability at the plate. Despite this, they are 18th in total scoring and have the third-worst batting average in baseball at .223.
Zach Davies will be on the mound for Chicago in the first meeting between the clubs. A first-time member of the Cubs, Davies has gone 5-5 with a 4.32 ERA and goes third in the team’s rotation.
In contrast to the Cubs, the Phillies have been less dysfunctional and erratic with their performances as of late.
Matt Moore, a 10-year veteran who is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA, will get the nod in the opener. Moore has dealt with back issues throughout the campaign and was forced to miss over a month while sitting on the injured list during the spring.
The Phillies managed to take two of three against the San Diego Padres over the weekend despite being below .500 themselves at 39-42, 4.5 games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.
The Phillies have survived up to this point by playing a relatively easy schedule, even though they rank in the bottom half of most major offensive statistical categories and are 18th in team ERA. The back half of their schedule is much more intimidating than the first, and they could do with gathering momentum heading into the All-Star game.
Outside of the opening duel, the Phillies will have the advantage in the pitching department, although it is important to note that they have given up the 10th-most home runs in baseball. Given the slugging ability of Chicago’s big-name players, this could play an important role at a point in the series.
The Cubs and the Phillies have not played each other since August 15, 2019, which was the final of a three-game series that Philadelphia swept at home. Philadelphia and Chicago have squared off the second-most times of any opponent in Philly’s franchise history and the third-most in Chicago’s, with the Cubs holding the advantage at 1,235-1,113.
Although Philadelphia has done better at winning games as of late, they have been outscored by 19 in their last 10 games.Chicago has produced a greater deficit, allowing 29 more runs than it has scored.
Both teams are hanging in the balance of the playoff race and could fall out or surge ahead.
The Phillies have been playing better as of late, are more consistent and have the better pitching staff. They may have benefited from playing easier competition and could be due for a late-season slide as they encounter more dominant teams, but they are better than the Cubs right now.
Bryce Harper may not be playing up to his $330-million contract, but he has left the yard three times in his last five games and leads the team in batting average at number. With their money man leading the troops into Chicago and the team showing signs of life, bet online on them to win Game One and the series as a whole.