Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7/23/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

The Phillies enter the second half in a virtual tie for a wild card spot, fighting to keep themselves afloat while Bryce Harper works toward a return. That fight takes them into a home series against the Cubs, who sit 22 games under .500 and are set to undergo some serious changes at the trade deadline. All-star snub Zack Wheeler will get the start for the Phillies, while Marcus Stroman takes the mound for Chicago.

Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Saturday’s matchup.

Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies Betting Odds

The Phillies are solid home favorites at -172 on the moneyline, with the over/under set at 8 runs. These two teams will be playing through the heat wave that’s gripped the east coast, so it should be a nice environment for offense. Strong pitching makes me hesitant to pick the over, considering Wheeler’s excellence plus Stroman’s strong showing since he came off the IL.

Chicago Cubs Starting Lineup

CF R. Ortega L
DH W. Contreras R
LF I. Happ S
RF S. Suzuki R
SS N. Hoerner R
3B P. Wisdom R
1B F. Schwindel R
C Y. Gomes R
2B C. Morel R

Chicago Cubs vs. Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler was starting to creep into the Cy Young conversation before a rough finish to the first half in Toronto. Still, his overall numbers are strong. Wheeler has a 2.89 ERA across 17 starts (99.2 IP), with a 2.70 FIP, 1.08 WHIP, and 108 strikeouts. Wheeler has allowed only 7 home runs in his nearly 100 innings this season, and he’s kept walks low while striking out only 10 batters per nine. Since 2020, Wheeler has a terrific 2.84 ERA and 2.73 FIP.

The Cubs hit .274 in June but have stumbled in July, posting an OPS of just .620. Willson Contreras is batting just .091 in July, while fellow trade candidate Patrick Wisdom hasn’t found the power he flashed last season. Nico Hoerner has been the Cubs’ best contact hitter since the start of June, however, and the x-factor in this series might be rookie Seiya Suzuki. Since returning from the IL, Suzuki is batting .356 with 2 home runs and a .907 OPS. It seems like trade deadline uncertainty might be getting to Contreras, Wisdom, and even Ian Happ, so I wouldn’t trust this offense against a pitcher as talented as Wheeler while those rumors swirl.

Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineup

LF K. Schwarber L
1B R. Hoskins R
RF N. Castellanos R
DH D. Hall L
C J. Realmuto R
SS D. Gregorius L
3B A. Bohm R
2B B. Stott L
CF M. Vierling R

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman has an underwhelming 4.69 ERA in his first 11 starts as a Cub, but he’s shown promise since returning from a month-long IL stint. Stroman has allowed just three hits in two starts since his return, allowing one earned run despite facing a pair of tough lineups in the Dodgers and Mets. A 3.85 FIP and 1.15 WHIP on the year indicate Stroman has been better than his ERA shows. Length will be something to watch for Stroman. While he hasn’t lasted a full five innings since returning, he was able to increase his pitch count from 59 to 83 last time out.

The Phillies have hit 21 home runs in July, almost double the Cubs’ 11. Philadelphia has gotten by without Bryce Harper, but it’s fair to question how sustainable that trend is. Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins are natural power threats against a pitcher with a higher home run rate than he’s accustomed to. J.T. Realmuto and Alec Bohm both got hot before the break. Whether they can keep that success alive will be key in this series and beyond. It’ll be important for the Phillies to show some patience against Stroman and build up his pitch count. He won’t be allowed to throw 100-110 pitches, so if they can’t get anything going, they at least have a chance to get to the bullpen. Philadelphia’s lineup is close to league average with 3.07 walks/game.

Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies Picks & Prediction

My pick: Over 4 Phillies Total Runs (-132 on FanDuel)

Marcus Stroman has pitched well since coming off the IL, but the Phillies probably won’t see more than five or six innings of Stroman on Saturday. At home and playing in hot conditions, I’d be surprised if a talented lineup can’t put one or two balls over the wall and do some damage. A lack of run support for Zack Wheeler of late may raise some eyebrows. That’s probably more coincidence than anything – this team still averages 4.68 runs/game and hit very well in June. I say they’ll deliver for Wheeler this time.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

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