The Chicago Cubs (20-25) and the Philadelphia Phillies (21-24) will wrap up a three-game series on Sunday, May 21. First pitch from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is set for 1:35 p.m. ET. Justin Steele (6-1, 2.44 ERA) gets the starting nod for Chicago, while Philly counters with Taijuan Walker (3-2, 6.53 ERA).
The Phillies are the -120 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Cubs are the +100 road underdogs, and the run total is set at nine. Chicago will be off Monday and then return home on Tuesday for a three-game set against the New York Mets. The Phillies stay at home to welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks to town for a three-game series starting Monday.
Cubs-Phillies picks: Sunday, May 21
Out: SP Kyle Hendricks (shoulder), RP Brad Boxberger (forearm), OF Body Bellinger (knee)
Out: RP Jose Alvarado (elbow), OF Cristian Pache (knee)
Justin Steele vs. Taijuan Walker
Steele had been dominant to begin the year, taking a 6-0 record into his last start. Unfortunately, that wound up being his worst outing of the year: He allowed five earned runs on five hits in six innings against the Houston Astros. Steele punched out eight and only walked one, but still earned his first loss of the season.
Walker has struggled in his first season with the Phillies. He had a brutal outing against the San Francisco Giants his last time out, giving up four earned on four hits while walking two and striking out one in just 0.2 innings of work. He wasn’t able to make it out of the first inning.
The first two games in this series have been lopsided on the scoreboard, with ample runs scored. Chicago won game one 10-1, with Philadelphia taking game two 12-3. With the recent outings these pitchers had, I expect the run total to surpass nine.
Pick: Over 9
The Cubbies are 1-6 over their last seven games, with the Phillies not faring much better, going 1-5 over their last six. The 12-run outburst may be the momentum shift Philly has needed, but unfortunately, they have to take on Steele in the midst of a career year. With Walker struggling, I think Chicago will win the series finale.