Chicago Cubs (79-55) at Philadelphia Phillies (72-62)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 2, 2018, 1:35 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Philadelphia Phillies -148 / Chicago Cubs +138 --- Over/Under: 7.5
The Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies meet in the rubber match of their three game set from Citizens’ Bank Park in MLB action on Sunday.
The Chicago Cubs will look to win the set after evening the series up at one win apiece following a 7-1 triumph in game two on Saturday. Kyle Schwarber led the Cubs with two RBIs and a triple, while Ian Happ added a home run and David Bote, Ben Zobrist and Javier Baez each added an RBI, with Bote and Zobrist adding a double while Baez went 3 for 5 at the dish. Daniel Murphy and Kris Bryant each had a double, with Bryant going 2 for 4 at the plate, while Anthony Rizzo added a base hit to round out Chicago’s offense in the win. Kyle Hendricks got the win to improve to 11-10 this season, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out four over six innings of work. Jon Lester will start game three and is 14-5 with a 3.67 ERA and 119 strikeouts this season. In his career, Lester is 7-0 with a 1.64 ERA and 58 strikeouts against Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Phillies will look to bounce back and win the series after dropping game two on Saturday. Nick Williams went 2 for 4 with the team’s lone RBI, while Carlos Santana matched that mark at the dish with a double. Odubel Herrera and Wilson Ramos each contributed a base hit in the losing effort for the Phils. Zach Eflin took the loss, falling to 9-6 this season after allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits while striking out four over five innings of work. Aaron Nola will start game three and is 15-3 with a 2.10 ERA and 177 strikeouts this season. In his career, Nola is 1-0 with a 4.61 ERA and 12 strikeouts against the Cubs.
Chicago is 8-1 in Lester’s last 9 road starts and 7-2 in their last 9 Sunday games while the over is 7-1 in Lester’s last 8 starts against the NL East. Philadelphia is 21-6 in Nola’s last 27 home starts and 17-8 in their last 25 home games while the under is 4-1 in Nola’s last 5 starts against a team with a winning record. The under is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
Something has to give here, as you have Lester who has completely owned the Cubs in his career, going against Nola who hasn’t taken a loss at home this season. For me, the difference is that Lester hasn’t faced the Phillies this season, and we all know this is the best Philadelphia has looked since winning the World Series a few years ago. Philly didn’t get the win in Nola’s last home start, but the Phils’ ace is still 9-0 with an ERA under two at home this season and has allowed two runs or less in each of his last six starts, totalling six runs, five earned, over 42 innings of work for a 1.29 ERA. Lester is a better pitcher on the road than at home but he still has an ERA just under six in his last five starts, so I’ll lay the juice with Nola and the Phillies to win the series.