Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 5/21/19 7:05 PM ET Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, TV: Chicago (ESPN, WGN, SAP WGN), Philadelphia (ESPN, NBCSP) Radio: Chicago (670 The Score, WRTO 1200), Philadelphia (94 WIP, WRTO 1200)
In a 10 inning showdown last night, the Phillies took the W 5-4. The game wasn’t without its controversy, though, as many believe the end should have been McCutchen’s checked (or not) swing in the 9th. Despite that, the two clubs wipe the slate clean and go out there again tonight at 7:05 PM ET. It will be Quintana for the Cubs (4-3, 3.68 ERA) and Zach Eflin for the Phillies (5-4, 2.89 ERA)
There wasn’t much production from superstar Bryce Harper last night who recorded 0 hits and 1 walk in 4 at bats. That being said, in 18 games at Wrigley Field in his career, the slugger still boasts a .310 average at the historic ballpark. Met with boos from fans who wished he would have signed with the Cubs in the offseason in last night’s game, the slugger may use that hatred to fuel a breakout game tonight against the lefty Quintana.
Eflin has started just one game at Wrigley Field before, but it was a gem. He allowed just 1 run in 7.2 innings pitched. He’ll look to make this a habit as the Cubs are currently in a trend of, as your little league coach may have told you, “leaving ducks on the pond.” The Cubs are currently 28th in the league in the team left on base statistic, averaging 7.27 per game on the year.
1. K. Schwarber , LF
2. K. Bryant , 3B
3. A. Rizzo , 1B
4. J. Baez , SS
5. W. Contreras , C
6. D. Descalso , 2B
7. J. Heyward , RF
8. A. Almora Jr. , CF
9. J. Quintana , SP
Last night, the Cubs certainly missed having Baez and Contreras in the lineup. It’s still not known if Baez will return to the lineup tonight after enduring some bruising in his ankle in Sunday night’s game against the Nationals. When Baez isn’t in the lineup and Bryant doesn’t record a single hit (like last night), the Cubs have a hard time winning. That should be fairly obvious, but if Baez isn’t in the lineup again tonight, the Cubs need Bryant to step up if they expect to win.
The Cubs recorded 11 hits last night and it still somehow felt like a slow offensive performance. They scored 3 of their runs on what many are deeming a “little league homer” from Descalso, who tripled then got to score after the ball was thrown into the stands. Schwarber and Bryant both hit well against Eflin historically (.400 avg and .600 avg, respectively).
Quintana is coming into tonight’s game recording a loss in his two previous starts. He gave up 3 runs in 5 innings against the Reds in his last go, but his 50 strikeouts on the season are still impressive. There was a stretch from April 11 to May 5 where Quintana won 4 games in a row, and he will look to pick up that momentum tonight against the Phillies.
1. A. McCutchen , CF
2. J. Segura , SS
3. B. Harper , LF
4. R. Hoskins , 1B
5. J. Realmuto , C
6. O. Herrera , RF
7. C. Hernandez , 2B
8. M. Franco , 3B
9. Z. Eflin , SP
The Phillies looked good last night. Realmuto and Hernandez combined for a total of 5 hits and 4 RBIs. The Phillies will look to put up similar numbers tonight as many in their lineup have historically faced Quintana very well. Hernandez, Herrera, McCutchen, and Rodriguez are all hitting above .350 against him in their careers.
Eflin has gone the full 9 innings in 2 of his last 3 starts. Despite a shaky performance in his last outing against the Brewers, Eflin is still boasting a 1.80 ERA in his last 4 starts. Despite Bryant and Schwarber hitting him well in the past, Eflin has pitched Baez and Heyward better than most, limiting them each to .250.
Last night being an extra-inning win for the Phils, they will need more offensive production out of Harper if they expect to have a pull-away victory against the first place Cubs. Harper is hitting .269 against the Cubs in his career with an OBP of .453.
Cubs vs Phillies Betting Odds
The line is currently set at Cubs -138 Phillies +118. The line opened at Cubs -130 Phillies +110. The over/under is currently at 7.5 runs, which opened at 8. As the lines will continue to move throughout the day, it’ll be a hard game to bet without much payoff. That being said, I see the Cubs winning with Quintana getting back to his productive pitching. With 9 runs scored and 20 hits between the two teams last night, I’d take the over. I’d strike while the iron is hot and take the over on 7.5 while it’s still available, as the line may move back to 8 or even higher as the day progresses.
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