Jake Arrieta (18-6, 2.03 ERA) gets the ball for the Chicago Cubs (80-58) as they meet Adam Morgan (5-5, 4.42 ERA) and the Philadelphia Phillies (54-86) in the first of a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, Sep. 10 and will air on CSCh and CSPh.
In his most recent outing, Morgan pitched 6.1 innings, giving up six runs, striking out six and walking two in a 7-5 loss to the Red Sox. The Cubs were victorious the last time Arrieta pitched. He pitched well, going 8.0 innings, allowing zero runs and striking out seven in a 2-0 victory over the Diamondbacks. Anthony Rizzo (.285, 81 Rs, 29 HRs, 88 RBIs, 15 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run and one RBI.
Philadelphia is a considerable +260 underdog in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at eight runs. The Phillies have a losing record of 48-77 when playing as the underdog and an overall money line of -857. They are 2-6 as the underdog over their last 10 games. The Phillies rank fifth in the majors in extra base hits with 381.
On the other side, the Cubs have a nice record of 58-33 when they are favored and are +1,061 overall with the money line. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 7-3 SU and have played well as the favorite with a 5-2 record. The Cubs rank third in the NL in road scoring, averaging four runs per game. Chicago is the top hitting team in the league, converting .243 of their at-bats for hits. The Cubs average 3.5 walks per game, making them one of the most disciplined teams in the NL. The Cubs are a problem for opposing batters, sporting a 3.56 ERA this season. They have a WHIP of 1.20, fifth best in the MLB. They also have some of the most overpowering arms in baseball with an NL-high 8.4 strikeouts per road game.
The previous three games have all gone Philadelphia's way. The Phillies will take on a right-hander (Arrieta) in this game and have a 41-66 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Cubs will be the left-hander Morgan. They sport a 16-13 record against southpaws.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC, O/U - Over
The Cubs lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Phillies are 15-19. The Cubs are 29-18 in close games this season.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Phillies are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Cubs have a 31-1 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Phillies are 18-65. The Cubs have a 17-43 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 28th in home runs, Philadelphia has hit 108 this season. Chicago ranks eighth with 152 home runs.
Ranking 15th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.15 per game. Philadelphia ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.66.
Ranking 28th, Philadelphia is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.689). Chicago ranks in the bottom half at 16th with an OPS of .720.
When the Cubs allow at least one home run, they are 38-38. When the Phillies allow one or more homers, they have a 25-65 record.