Cubs vs Phillies

Cubs vs Phillies | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

The Chicago Cubs are playing out the string on a disappointing season but can play spoilers a bit on Wednesday by knocking off the playoff-hopeful Philadelphia Phillies. However, the Phils are heavy favorites on the MLB odds.

How to Bet Cubs at Phillies MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Chicago?

Frank Schwindel’s 1.092 OPS with Chicago is the fourth-highest among any player in their first 38 games with the franchise (since 1901). Schwindel’s 1.092 OPS is surpassed only by Hank Sauer in 1949 (1.165), Hack Wilson in 1926 (1.111) and Glenallen Hill in 1994 (1.102).

The Cubs have purchased the contract of outfielder Trayce Thompson from Triple-A Iowa.  Thompson, now 30 years old, was acquired from the Diamondbacks back in May. He slashed .233/.344/.492 with 21 homers over 88 games in Triple-A this season. It’s his first stint in the majors since 2018. The Cubs have utilized a franchise-record 63 players this season, surpassing the 56 used in 2013.

It’s Alec Mills (6-6) on the mound for the Cubs. Mills tossed six innings of one-run ball last Wednesday, taking a no-decision in the Cubs’ 4-1 extra-innings win over the Reds. Mills cruised for most of the night, giving up just four hits and one walk while picking up three strikeouts along the way. One of those hits was a Joey Votto solo home run in the fourth inning, which led to a no-decision for the right-hander.

Since a seven-run blow-up against the Royals on Aug. 22, he has rebounded nicely with three straight strong starts while registering a 1.35 ERA and 0.90 WHIP over 20 innings. Mills has walked two or fewer batters in all 16 of his starts in 2021. He owns a 4-6 record with a 3.86 ERA (35 ER/81.2 IP) in 16 starts this season and a 2-0 record with a 6.41 ERA (14 ER/19.2 IP) in 12 relief appearances.

Mills will make his third career appearance (second start) vs. Philadelphia. He is 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA (6 ER/11.2 IP) in his first two outings against them. He tossed 6.0 innings of relief on August 14, 2019 in Philadelphia, his longest career relief outing. Mills made his lone start against the Phillies on July 7, 2021 at Wrigley Field, earning the win while allowing three runs on five hits over 5.2 innings of work.

Why Bet on Philadelphia?

Monitor the status of Phils All-Star catcher JT Realmuto. He sat Tuesday with right shoulder inflammation. His 4.1 WAR (FanGraphs) ranks T-12th among NL position players. Purely as a catcher, he ranks 2nd in the National League in extra-base hits (39) and 3rd in RBIs (56). Realmuto is hitting .340 with runners in scoring position since July 9.

Bryce Harper, who has started 54 consecutive games for the Phillies, is slashing .341/.474/.737 in 230 plate appearances following the All-Star break and his .737 SLG and 1.211 OPS lead MLB in the second half – Harper’s 1.211 OPS would be the third highest in franchise history following the All-Star break (min. 200 PA) behind only Ryan Howard (1.259 OPS) in 2006 and Mike Schmidt (1.214 OPS) in 1981. The Phillies have won seven of their last nine games when Harper has at least one plate appearance with a runner in scoring position.

It’s Ranger Suarez (6-4) on the mound for Philly. Suarez pitched six innings and allowed only one run last Thursday in a no-decision against the Rockies. Suarez left with a one-run lead, but the bullpen couldn’t make it hold up as Ian Kennedy served up back-to-back long balls in the ninth to squander his win.

Philadelphia’s closer earlier this season, Suarez transitioned to the starting rotation when Kennedy was acquired. He’s gone at least five innings in each of his last four starts, allowing a total of three earned runs with a 25:6 K:BB in 23 innings during that stretch. Overall, Suarez has a 1.67 ERA in eight starts, but his record stands at 1-1 as a starter.

Suarez has pitched a total of three career innings vs. the Cubs and is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA.

Game Trends

  • Cubs are 4-1 in their last 5 Wednesday games.
  • Cubs are 5-2 in their last 7 road games.
  • Cubs are 1-12 in their last 13 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
  • Phillies are 0-4 in their last 4 Wednesday games.
  • Phillies are 0-4 in their last 4 games vs. a right-handed starter.
  • Cubs are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings in Philadelphia.

Expert Prediction

  • Phillies 5, Cubs 2

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