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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Phillies series preview

The Phillies are trying to hold on to a wild card spot. The Cubs’ mission: Play spoiler.

Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images

One last 2022 series against a team likely headed to the postseason. And, another welcome back to Wrigley for Kyle Schwarber. If there’s any reason why the crowds at Wrigley might be decent during a chilly late-September week, it’s people wanting to see Schwarber.

For more on the Phillies, here’s Ethan Witte, who runs our SB Nation Phillies site The Good Phight.

The Phillies are coming off a tough series against the Braves where they split a four game series that they very easily could have swept. With the Brewers winning three of four against the Reds and the Padres taking two of three from the Rockies, suddenly the Phillies are only 1½ games ahead of Milwaukee for the final spot. These games against the Cubs become very important for their playoff hopes as they’re running out of time. Their magic number to clinch a spot remains at eight, so winning this series against the Cubs is an absolute must. Sweeping is ideal.

The offense has been a bit inconsistent, the bullpen following suit, so a good week from both parts of the club would do wonders to help the team’s confidence. They also need extraordinary performances from their top three pitchers in Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Ranger Suarez. They’ve done very well playing teams that are in the National League basement this year, but at this point on the calendar, every team is dangerous. They cannot take these games for granted.

Fun fact

The last time these two teams played in Wrigley Field the last week of September was 2000, when both the Cubs and Phillies were on their way to 97-loss seasons. They split a four-game series.

Fun fact 2: The manager of that Phillies team was Terry Francona, who’s currently on his way to the postseason with the Guardians.

Probable pitching matchups

Tuesday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (4-7, 3.80 ERA, 1.170 WHIP, 3.94 FIP) vs. Zack Wheeler, RHP (11-7, 2.98 ERA, 1.063 WHIP, 2.93 FIP)

Wednesday: Hayden Wesneski, RHP (2-1, 2.45 ERA, 0.818 WHIP, 3.25 FIP) vs. Aaron Nola, RHP (10-12, 3.28 ERA, 1.309 WHIP, 2.64 FIP)

Thursday: Javier Assad, RHP (1-2, 4.28 ERA, 1.573 WHIP, 5.20 FIP) vs. Ranger Suarez, LHP (10-5, 3.38 ERA, 1.298 WHIP, 3.68 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 6:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 6:40 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Thursday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Phillies market territories)


The Phillies have lost 13 of their last 20 road games. The Cubs swept the Phillies in Philadelphia in July, also defeating Wheeler. This is the Cubs’ chance to inject themselves into the postseason conversation, as the Phillies are trying to hold on to that wild card berth.

Gonna go out on a limb and say the Cubs will take two of three.

Up next

The Cubs have their final series of 2022 against the Reds. Yes, it’s basically one series, three at Wrigley Field beginning Friday afternoon, then three in Cincinnati (rescheduled from the lockout) starting next Monday.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Phillies?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    (8 votes)
  • 24%
    (29 votes)
  • 57%
    (68 votes)
  • 11%
    (14 votes)
119 votes total Vote Now