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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Phillies series preview

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The Cubs head to Philadelphia for their final series against an NL East team for 2021.

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

You might not think a team with a 72-71 record is in playoff contention, but the Phillies have a chance still at both the NL East title (4½ games behind) and the second wild card (2½ games behind).

For more on the Phillies, here’s Ethan Witte, “Supreme Blog Lord” of our SB Nation Phillies site The Good Phight:

Ah, the Phillies. Issac Newton’s favorite baseball team. Their seemingly inevitable gravitational pull towards the .500 mark has made going on a run of any kind almost impossible. They cannot get out of their own way at times in the field and the bats are either stone cold or white hot. Save for Bryce Harper, an NL MVP favorite, this has been one of the more disappointing offenses in the game. No one seems to want to help Harper for longer than three or four games in a row. Aaron Nola might be the lead candidate for LVP of the league when one considers how much they have needed him and how inconsistent he has been. Even with all of that, they are still right in the thick of the NL East race, as well as the second wild card chase. Winning series is a must at this point, and this one against the Cubs is no different.

Fun fact

It has been 761 days since the Cubs last played in Philadelphia. Here is the boxscore link to that game. You probably don’t want to click on it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Probable pitching matchups

Tuesday: Adrian Sampson, RHP (0-2, 2.20 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 5.86 FIP) vs. Kyle Gibson, RHP (10-6, 3.38 ERA, 1.238 WHIP, 3.79 FIP in 27 appearances overall, 4-3, 4.60 ERA, 1.383 WHIP, 3.89 FIP in eight appearances with Phillies)

Wednesday: Alec Mills, RHP (6-6, 4.35 ERA, 1.382 WHIP, 4.22 FIP) vs. Ranger Suarez, LHP (6-4, 1.38 ERA, 1.026 WHIP, 2.97 FIP)

Thursday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (14-5, 4.54 ERA, 1.344 WHIP, 4.88 FIP) vs. TBD

I cannot remember another year when I wrote this many series previews with a “TBD” starter.

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 6:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 6:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Thursday: 5:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

The Cubs have favorable pitching matchups for two of these games. They should win at least one of them, especially since the Phillies are on a skid, having lost seven of their last nine, including three of four to the Rockies at home.

Up next

The Cubs head to Milwaukee for a three-game series against the Brewers beginning Friday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Phillies?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    3
    (6 votes)
  • 30%
    2
    (28 votes)
  • 48%
    1
    (45 votes)
  • 15%
    0
    (14 votes)
93 votes total Vote Now