A pair of first-place teams will wrap up their four-game series on Thursday afternoon at historic Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia Phillies took the series opener from the Cubs on Monday night, but the Cubs have responded with two impressive wins in the last two games. The pitching matchup for this series finale should be the best one of the series, and fans should expect another great game.
The Cubs got off to a 2-7 start this season, but they have been the best team in baseball since that time. Chicago comes into this game with a record of 29-18 and sits in first place in the National League Central Division. Philadelphia has been playing solid baseball all season long and lead the National League East with a record of 28-21. The Cubs are -118 over the Philadelphia Phillies in the series finale on Thursday.
Cubs Breaking Out the Long Ball
The wind was howling out on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, and the Cubs took advantage in a big way. Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez each hit long home runs, but it was Albert Almora’s grand slam that was the difference. Chicago has four different players with at least 11 home runs this season, and Baez and Rizzo have each hit 12 of them. The Cubs lead the National League with a .347 on-base percentage and are averaging 5.4 runs per game this season.
Veteran Jon Lester will be on the mound in the series finale, and he will be looking for a bounce-back performance. Lester lasted just over four innings in a loss to the Nationals last weekend, but he has been great most of the season. The lefty comes into this game with a record of 3-2 and a very impressive 2.09 ERA. Chicago always has a chance to win with him on the mound.
Nola On Mound For Phillies
The Phillies will counter by sending their young ace, Aaron Nola, to the mound in the series finale. Nola has gone 4-0 so far this season, despite having an earned run average sitting at 4.47. The hard-throwing right-hander has pitched into the 7th inning just one time this season, and the Phillies are hoping for a longer outing on Thursday. Philadelphia does have some weapons out of their bullpen, but they have been used a lot in this series.
Philadelphia has some thunder in its lineup as well, especially in Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins leads the team with 11 home runs and 37 runs batted in and is also taking his walks. Bryce Harper has struggled so far in this series but does have nine homers and 31 runs batted in this season. If the wind is blowing out again, then the Phillies offense is going to have to slug it out with the powerful Cubs lineup.
Cubs Win Third Straight Game
The Cubs could have easily won all three games so far in this series, but taking the last two games is still pretty good. Philadelphia might be leading the NL East, but they still have yet to prove that they can beat the top teams in the National League. With Lester on the mound and a hot Cubs lineup at Wrigley Field, look for the Cubs to win their third straight game. Bet the Chicago Cubs -118 over the Philadelphia Phillies.
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