The Chicago Cubs will host the Philadelphia Phillies for a three game series beginning Tuesday night. This is the first matchup between these teams in the 2018 season. The Cubs came into the season as a favorite to reach the playoffs for a fourth straight year, while the Phillies are finally starting to show promise after a few rebuilding years.
The Phillies are currently in 3rd place in the National League East Division, but are just 3 games back of the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs trail the Milwaukee Brewers by 2 games in the National League Central Division. The Chicago Cubs are -195 over the Phillies in game 1 of the series.
Cubs Come in Red Hot
The Cubs got off to another slow start this season, but have played great baseball the last two weeks. Chicago is 8-2 in their last ten games, and are coming off of a 4 game sweep of the New York Mets. The Cubs are winning games in a variety of ways, and are starting to look like the team that has been the class of the National League for the last few years.
Kyle Hendricks will pitch the series opener for the Cubs. Hendricks is 4-4 with a 3.19 ERA so far in 2018, but is a better pitcher than those numbers suggest. Hendricks is capable of completely shutting down an opponent and will look to keep the Phillies bats silent on Tuesday night. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant should be refreshed for this series after having the series finale against the Mets off. Look for the Cubs young stars to carry the load on offense.
Phillies Trying to Bounce Back
The Phillies are going in an opposite direction as the Cubs. Philadelphia comes into this series after being swept in a three game series by the San Francisco Giants. The Phillies are 3-7 in their last 10 games, and will be trying to improve their fortunes against a very good Cubs team.
The Philadelphia offense must find a way to produce more runs if they are going to get out of their slump. The Phillies managed just one run in the sweep at the hands of the Giants. Rhys Hoskins is expected to miss the series against the Cubs, which is a big blow to the Phillies offense. Zach Eflin (1-2, 4.50 ERA) will start the series opener against the Cubs, and knows that he has to keep the Chicago offense relatively quiet if his team will have a chance to win.
Hendricks Shines, Cubs Win
The Phillies surprised many people through the first quarter of the season, but have struggled of late. Philadelphia has gotten great starting pitching all season long, but their offense has struggled to put runs on the board. If the Phillies hope to beat the Cubs, they will have to score plenty of runs.
Kyle Hendricks has had an up and down 2018 season, but is usually very tough to beat at home. The Cubs appear to be rounding into form, and are now 10 games over .500 for the first time this season. The Cubs feature a relentless offense and they will continue to pound out hits and runs back at Wrigley Field. Bet the Chicago Cubs -195 over the Philadelphia Phillies in the series opener.
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