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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Phillies series preview

The Cubs make the final stop on their three-city road trip.

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Cubs enter this series having lost 10 of their last 15.

But the Phillies have lost 11 of their last 15.

Sounds fun, no?

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

The Phillies come into the series having had an uneven season so far. They’ve tread water for most of it, waiting for Bryce Harper to return... and somewhat miraculously, he has returned almost two months ahead of schedule. What has that done for the team? Well... nothing, really. The starting pitching has been bafflingly inconsistent as top starters Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler have had issues adjusting to the pitch clock, Taijuan Walker alternating good outings with not so good outings and Bailey Falter has... ahem... faltered. The bullpen has been decent, led by the now-injured Jose Alvarado, but even this group has had shaky outings. The offense has received a boost from Harper’s return, but they are still struggling with runners in scoring position (.232 BA, 26th in baseball), an issue that has gotten much worse lately. They could really use a solid offensive showing this weekend against the Cubs.

Bright spot: Matt Strahm. Strahm was very good when needed in the rotation while the team waited for Ranger Suarez to return, but he’s been equally as good in the bullpen. The team would like to use him as a multi-inning weapon later in games, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider him somewhat of a Josh Hader lite, albeit without the 99 mile per hout fastball.

Low light: Trea Turner. It’s still early in his Phillies career, as well as the 2023 season, but thus far, the team’s free agent splurge hasn’t played as well as he nor the fanbase would like. His 94 OPS+ suggests he’s still just a whisper below average, but there have been struggles to get on track at this point.

Fun fact

The Cubs are 507-525-7 at Philadelphia since 1901, but they have won three in a row there, all last season. The last time they had a longer streak was in 2000-01, when they won five straight. They also won five straight in 1995-96, and won four in a row there in 1984-85, 1985 alone and 1988-89. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)

Probable pitching matchups

Friday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (2-4, 3.24 ERA, 1.180 WHIP, 3.66 FIP) vs. Ranger Suarez, LHP (0-0, 6.75 ERA, 2.000 WHIP, 2.05 FIP)

Saturday: Jameson Taillon, RHP (0-2, 6.66 ERA, 1.521 WHIP, 3.76 FIP) vs. Aaron Nola, RHP (3-3, 4.53 ERA, 1.114 WHIP, 4.09 FIP)

Sunday: Justin Steele, LHP (6-1, 2.44 ERA, 1.030 WHIP, 3.05 FIP) vs. TBD

Times & TV channels

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

Saturday: 3:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Sunday: 12:35 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Phillies market territories)



Seriously, I have no idea. Both teams are struggling. Cancelling this series is not an option. Who knows, maybe Cubs pitching will hold up and they can win two of three.

Up next

The Cubs have Monday off, then host the New York Mets in a three-game series beginning Tuesday evening at Wrigley Field.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Phillies?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    (17 votes)
  • 28%
    (32 votes)
  • 41%
    (46 votes)
  • 15%
    (17 votes)
112 votes total Vote Now