The Chicago Cubs led the NL Central Division for a while but are in a major funk right now – to the point that the Cubbies probably will be sellers ahead of this month’s trade deadline. They are underdogs on the Wednesday MLB odds against All-Star Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler.
How to Bet Phillies at Cubs MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 8:05 PM ET
- Where: Wrigley Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Zack Wheeler/Alec Mills
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Phillies -135, Cubs +125 (total TBA)
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
It’s ace Zack Wheeler on the mound for the Phillies. Wheeler (6-4) delivered another dominant performance in a no-decision against the Padres last Friday, scattering four hits over 7 2/3 innings of shutout baseball. The right-hander piled up nine strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter. Wheeler generated just nine whiffs on the night (four on his slider) and posted an underwhelming CSW of 23 percent. He had 12 ground ball outs compared to just one fly ball.
Over his past two contests, Wheeler has tossed 14.2 scoreless innings during which he has registered a 17:2 K:BB. His 2.05 ERA this season ranks sixth among qualified pitchers, and he currently leads the league with 139 strikeouts.
Wheeler has been named to the NL All-Star team for the first time in his career. Catcher J.T. Realmuto was also named to the National League squad. It’s the first time since 2013 that Philly will have more than the requisite one player taking part in the Midsummer Classic.
“I haven’t won many awards,” Wheeler said. “I don’t even think I’ve won anything since I’ve been in the big leagues, no Player of the Week or Month or whatever it may be. This is pretty cool, right? This is one of the biggest ones besides Cy Young or something like that. I can tell my son and future kids I was an All-Star. It’s pretty cool.”
His 13 quality starts are one off the MLB lead behind the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler and Trevor Bauer. When the Phillies gave Zack Wheeler a five-year, $118-million contract prior to the 2020 season, it was a bit of a gamble. The former Met had flashed ace-like potential and thrown well down the stretch in 2018 and 2019, but he also missed two full seasons to injury in 2015 and 2016 and his career numbers were pedestrian – 44-38 with a 3.72 ERA without an all-star appearance.
If Wheeler were to get the nod and start for the National League, he would be the first Phillies pitcher to start an All-Star Game since the late Roy Halladay who did so in 2011 and he would be the first Phillies player to start at any position since Chase Utley in 2014.
Wheeler is 6-4 with 2.05 ERA in 17 career starts vs. Chicago.
Why Bet on Chicago?The Cubs are 13-16 in 29 one-run games this season, tied for the second-most one-run contests in baseball with the Phillies. The Mets lead with 31 such games.
Chicago had two players named to the All-Star team in Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel – both may be traded by the end of this month. It’s Bryant’s fourth career selection in six chances and the eighth of Kimbrel’s decorated career, his first since 2018. Only 10 pitchers in MLB history have more selections than him, and all 10 are Hall of Famers.
Both were selected by player vote. Bryant had a down 2020 in the shortened 60-game campaign, albeit in a small 34-game sample size. He’s been the Cubs’ best hitter this season. Kimbrel’s All-Star selection is the culmination of a remarkable turnaround that began late last season.
It’s Alec Mills (3-2) on the mound for Chicago. Mills was charged with two runs over 5 2/3 innings last Friday in a loss to the Reds. Mills scattered two baserunners over five frames before issuing a one-out walk to Jonathan India and a two-out single to Nick Castellanos, which chased him from the contest in the sixth inning. He was charged with both runs after reliever Adam Morgan gave up a two-run double to Joey Votto.
‘‘I finally had the changeup,’’ Mills said. ‘‘Generated a couple of swings-and-misses. I think it was just that extra wrinkle, so that they had to respect a third pitch. I think I just located the fastball. … I think that’s something that I have to do to be successful.’’
The soft-tossing 29-year-old has allowed three earned runs or fewer in four consecutive starts since rejoining the Cubs’ rotation in mid-June. He owns 4.85 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and 35/15 K/BB ratio across 42 2/3 innings (17 appearances, five starts) this season. He has a 3.52 ERA (9 ER/23.0 IP) as a starter, compared to a 6.41 ERA (14 ER/19.2 IP) as a reliever.
Mills will make his second-career appearance (first start) against the Phillies. It will be his first time facing them at Wrigley Field. During his first-ever appearance against the Phillies on August 14, 2019, Mills pitched in relief of Cole Hamels after two innings and went on to finish the game by tossing six innings.
- Phillies are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. National League Central.
- Phillies are 17-35 in their last 52 road games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Cubs are 1-4 in their last 5 during game 3 of a series.
- Cubs are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Cubs are 2-6 in their last 8 vs. National League East.
- Phillies 5, Cubs 3
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