Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, 5/20/19 8:05 PM ET Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, TV: Chicago (NBCSCH), Philadelphia (NBCSP) Radio: Chicago (670 The Score), Philadelphia (94 WIP, WTTM 1680)
Coming off three straight wins against the Rockies, the Phillies come to Wrigley Field to face off against the Cubs at 8:05 PM ET. Both teams currently have 27 wins on the season, the Cubs boasting the higher winning percentage (.614 vs the Phillies’ .587). As each team currently sits atop their respective divisions with the Brewers/Braves close behind, the race for 28 wins is an important one.
The questionable Yu Darvish takes the mound for the Cubs tonight. 2-3 with a 5.14 ERA on the season, he’s anything but a sure-fire quality start for the Cubs. Although he looked promising in his last outing against the Reds, (11 strikeouts and 0 walks), it’s not enough to convince Cubs fans that he’ll do the same today.
The big story going into today’s game is Jake Arrieta being sent to the bump for the Phillies. It’s the right-hander’s first time starting a game at Wrigley since he departed the Cubs in free agency following the 2017 season. He’s still near and dear to Cubs fans hearts, as he was part of that magical 2016 World Series team.
Cubs Starting Lineup
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. Lester , SP
In a win that ended much too close for comfort yesterday, the Cubs look to roll some momentum into the series opener against the Phils. Hitting was alright yesterday, with the club putting up 9 hits as a team. If they want to have more success against the Phillies, there will need to be more production from Baez, Bryant, and Rizzo, who combined for just two hits in last night’s game.
Darvish, the 32 year old veteran, has not been having the season the Cubs wished he would after spending most of last year on the injured list. Herrera, Hoskins, Franco, and Segura are all hitting .500 off of Darvish on their careers, so he’s got his work cut out for him in tonight’s matchup.
There isn’t much history of Cubs hitters against Arrieta as he had been their teammate up until last season. Heyward is .300 off him over his career, and Descalso hasn’t recorded a hit.
Phillies Starting Lineup
1. A. McCutchen , CF
2. J. Segura , SS
3. B. Harper , RF
4. R. Hoskins , 1B
5. J. Realmuto , C
6. O. Herrera , LF
7. C. Hernandez , 2B
8. M. Franco , 3B
9. J. Arrieta , SP
The big off-season story for the Phillies was certainly Harper, but others have come into the spotlight as the season has progressed. Segura and Hernandez are each hitting above .300 with 98 hits thus far between the two. Home runs have seemed to be what Harper brings to the table this year, but he only has 9 compared to Hoskins’ 11.
This game will definitely be an emotional one for Arrieta. He’s pitched at Wrigley many times before, but this time he’s in a different uniform. The fans will likely have cheers to give for the veteran right-hander, maybe even more than they have for Darvish.
Arrieta has given up a .247 average to lefties on the season and .254 to righties. The probable Cubs lineup is set as 5 righties (including Darvish) and 4 lefties, so there doesn’t seem to be an advantage gained by either side in that realm. Arrieta is, however, giving up a .271 avg on the road as opposed to .241 at home, which we could see play a role in tonight’s performance.
Cubs vs Phillies Betting Odds
The line is currently set at Cubs -135 Phillies +122. I see the Phillies taking this one, as Darvish’s unpredictability has been detrimental to the Cubs in almost all of his starts this year.
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