Nick Madrigal will be looking to extend his 15-game on-base streak as the Chicago Cubs (37-41) host the Philadelphia Phillies (42-37) at Wrigley Field on Thursday with the visitors eyeing a sweep of the three-game series.
The Phillies lead the series 2-0 after winning 8-5 on Wednesday, their fourth straight head-to-head victory and fourth in five games this season. Starter Aaron Nola went five innings for the win, allowing four runs on seven hits.
Nick Castellanos was 2 for 5 with a home run and a double in the win. He scored two runs and had four RBIs. Josh Harrison added a home run and two runs. Madrigal went 3 for 4 with a double and one run for the Cubs. Dansby Swanson added a solo home run.
ON THE MOUND
Taijuan Walker (8-3, 4.10 ERA) is slated to get the start for Philadelphia. The righty allowed one run over six innings in his last start, a 5-1 road win over the Mets on Friday.
He was credited with the win, yielding three hits while striking out five and walking one. Walker has made one previous start against the Cubs this season, a 2-1 home victory on May 21.
He allowed two hits over 5.1 scoreless innings, striking out three and walking three. For Chicago, RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-2, 2.60 ERA) will toe the rubber. It’s his first appearance of the season against the Phillies.
In his last start on June 21, Hendricks got the win on the road against the Pirates. He threw 6.1 innings and gave up three runs (1 ER) on two hits, striking out two and walking three in the 8-3 victory.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Philadelphia has averaged 5.4 runs a game, a small gain compared to their season average of 4.4. Against right-handed pitchers like Hendricks this season, the Phils have a .743 OPS. Brandon Marsh is the team’s most productive hitter against right-handers with a .898 OPS in 166 at-bats.
Chicago is averaging 5.6 runs per game in the last five, up from 4.6 for the season, with a stronger slugging percentage (.443 vs .400). The Cubs have a .716 OPS against right-handers in 2023. With a .853 OPS over 203 at-bats, Ian Happ has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Philadelphia is on an eight-game winning streak in road games, bringing their record to 21-23 in 2023. The Phils have scored 4.5 runs per game away from home while allowing 5.1 runs. Chicago has lost three in a row at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs are 20-19 at home this season, averaging 4.7 runs per game while surrendering 4.3. Philadelphia is 6-4 in the last 10 games at Wrigley Field between the teams with an average scoreline of 6.4-4.2.
The Phillies are third in the NL East, 10 games behind the division-leading Braves. The Cubs are third in the NL Central, four games behind the Reds.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Philadelphia Phillies (-115)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.