MLB Pick Preview- Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs
The Philadelphia Phillies will look to even things up in Game 2 of a three-game set with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field after dropping the first game of the series on Monday night. The first pitch for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast on the MLB Network.
A heat-related illness led to an early exit for Roy Halladay last night as Philadelphia fell to the Cubs 6-1 as a 199 road favorite. The loss cut the Phillies lead over Atlanta in the NL East to just 2.5 games as they are now 59-36 overall; 34-15 at home and 25-21 on the road.
Philadelphia was also hampered by a lack of offensive production, which has been a common theme all season long. Lately, it has been hit or miss with this team when it comes to scoring. The Phillies have averaged eight runs a game in their last four victories and have scored a combined total of four runs in their last three losses.
The good news is that Cliff Lee is on the mound tonight to try and even the score. He is coming off one of the best stretches in his career after giving up a total of eight earned runs in his last seven starts. He is 9-6 on the year with a 2.82 ERA. Earlier this season, Lee held the Cubs to one earned run on four hits in eight full innings.
Chicago is currently 12.5 games out of first in the NL Central with a record of 39-58. It is 4-6 in its last 10 games and 2-3 since the All-Star break. The Cubs’ record on the road this season is 17-29 and they are 22-29 at home.
Hitting has not been an issue for this team as it is ranked second in the NL with a .262 team batting average. Pitching has been a whole other story as the Cubs’ staff is ranked dead-last in the league with a team ERA of 4.65.
Matt Garza is slated to get the start tonight for Chicago. He is 4-7 with an ERA of 3.97 in 17 starts. Garza has been solid at home with a 2.62 ERA in his last five starts. He faced Lee the last time these two teams met and gave up one earned run on five hits in six innings of work.
Head-to-head this season, the Phillies won three of four at home in mid-June and the total was evenly split 2-2. Last night’s game stayed ‘under’ the 8.5-run line.
Count on Lee righting the ship tonight for Philadelphia in what should be a low scoring affair for both sides.
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