The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies square off on Sunday with first pitch set for 12:05 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and will be available to watch on Peacock. Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly (2-5, 4.22 ERA) and Phillies lefty Bailey Falter (0-2, 4.82 ERA) are the probable starters.
The Cubs (37-57) outscored Philadelphia 21-4 en route to taking the first two games of this series. Saturday’s 6-2 win came via a five-run tenth inning. Catcher Willson Contreras, who is perhaps a week or so away from being traded to another team, drove in a run in each game. Another popular trade chip, Ian Happ, has five hits so far in this series. Smyly will be making his third start since returning from a six-week stint on the injured list. Last time out, he allowed one run over 4.1 innings against the Mets.
The Phillies (49-45) entered the All-Star break on a roll after sweeping the Marlins, but they have fallen out of the third Wild Card spot following these two losses. On the bright side, third baseman Alec Bohm is hitting .400 with a 1.128 OPS over his past eight games. Falter will be making this third start this month. He pitched four innings in each of his past two, allowing five runs in eight innings in home dates against the Cardinals and Nationals.
Cubs vs. Phillies
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Phillies -1.5 (+140)
Run total: 9.5
Moneyline odds: Phillies -130, Cubs +110
Moneyline pick: Phillies -130
Yes, it’s possible that the Phillies could be swept at home by one of the worst teams in the National League but you shouldn’t want to bet on that. The pitching matchup makes this game a real toss-up; either hurler has real blow-up potential in what looks like a high-scoring game. Even without Bryce Harper and considering the first two games of this series, the Phillies still have the better offense in this matchup. Put your faith in them to salvage this finale.
Player prop pick: Kyle Schwarber over 0.5 home runs (+220)
Traditionally, Schwarber has not been a great hitter against lefties but he has slugged eight of his NL-leading 30 homers versus southpaws this year. And he seems to see Smyly fairly well (3-for-7, one homer). The Phillies will need him to come through today if they don’t want to fall victim to an embarrassing home sweep.
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