The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies both enter this series having been swept in the previous series and in need of a win on Friday in Philadelphia in need of a win to stop the bleeding.
Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies (-135, 9)
The Cubs look to Marcus Stroman to continue his road success, who in 17 road starts the past two seasons, has a 2.36 ERA with 0.7 home runs per nine innings allowed.
The Cubs offense behind Stroman leads the National League in both on-base percentage and batting average while the pitch-to-contact starter, Ranger Suarez will make the start for the Phillies.
Suarez made his season debut a week ago on the road against the Colorado Rockies, giving up seven hits and three runs in four innings and is coming off of a 2022 season in which he had 7.5 strikeouts and 3.4 walks per nine innings to go with a 3.65 ERA.
Along with the ability to get on base, the Cubs have good power numbers on the road, ranking sixth among MLB teams in home runs per game while the Phillies are tied for 19th.
Neither bullpen behind these starters has had a good start to 2023 with the Phillies and Cubs ranking 21st and 25th, respectively, in bullpen ERA. Keep in mind, the Phillies are currently without closer Jose Alvarado, who’s on the injured list.
The Cubs’ rough start includes a record of 2-9 in one-run games this season, usually with the bullpen being unable to pull out a close game.
With Stroman having allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his nine starts this season and the lineup facing a starter in Suarez who pitches to contact, the Cubs will snap out of their funk with a win on Friday.
The Play: Cubs +115