MLB Pick: Check Our Betting Series On The Cubs vs. Phillies

Monday, June 6, 2016 11:00 AM GMT

A Hump Day matinee will decide the series between the Cubs and Phillies, and Chicago is once again decided favorites on the MLB odds to take down Philadelphia.

8th June
Cubs vs. Phillies Game 3

By: Willie Bee

 

Any hopes the Chicago Cubs had of pulling off their first sweep in Philadelphia since 2000 were dashed Tuesday night. The Phillies made efficient use of six hits and Jerad Eickhoff did the heavy-lifting on the mound for a 3-2 triumph to send the set to a decisive third game.

Wednesday's baseball betting card opens with the 12:05 PM (ET) contest pitting veteran John Lackey for Chicago opposite Philadelphia's young Vince Velasquez. Lackey and the Cubs are priced around -180 on the moneyline, MLB odds at Bookmaker listing 7½ for the total.

 

Lackey & Velasquez Complete Pitching Rematches For Series
There won't be a sweep by either team in this series, but we are going to see a sweep on the mound with the third consecutive pitching rematch between the clubs. Lackey closed as -205 chalk May 29 to end that meeting between the clubs in the Windy City, and earned the victory over in Chicago's 7-2 decision. The righthander tossed seven innings of 4-hit baseball, the only damage being a Tyler Goeddel solo shot. The Cubs chased Velasquez in the fifth having already plated their seven runs, three of them courtesy of a Ben Zobrist blast in the third.

Working deep into games has been an issue for Velasquez, who has only gone past the sixth one time in 11 tries, that outing a brilliant 3-hit shutout vs. the San Diego Padres in mid-April.  Lackey has worked into the seventh in eight of his 11 starts, fashioning a nice 76/19 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Both pitchers have led their teams to seven victories along the way, but a lesson in chalk is worth noting here with the Cubs barely even when Lackey pitches compared to the Phils up more than four units when Velasquez takes the mound.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
We're expecting Mark Wegner to don the mask and call balls and strikes for the finale.  The 19-year veteran is working on a string of six consecutive 'over' winners to bring his season mark to 7-3-1 O/U/P vs. the baseball odds. Three of his last four plate assignments at Citizens Bank Park also sailed past the totals, and home underdogs have dropped both games with Wegner behind the plate in 2016.

I mentioned Monday that weather for the series finale might be a concern, and that is the case with an 80% chance for thunderstorms in the early afternoon. That should blow over quickly, but will leave behind strong wind by mid-afternoon (20+ mph out of WNW, in from left-corner). Let's recycle our free MLB pick from Game 1 and play Chicago on the run line.

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My pick: Cubs -1½ (-108)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Season: 26-25 (+1.80)

7th June
Cubs vs. Phillies Game 2

By: Willie Bee

 

Just when it looked like the Chicago Cubs were going to breeze to victory in the opener of their series at Philadelphia, the Phillies made it interesting. The 9th-inning rally fell short, however, though the 6-4 final did bring a smile to the faces of bettors holding 'over' tickets.

Chicago is once again pronounced chalk for Tuesday's 7:05 PM (ET) matchup, Pinnacle offering a -200 line on the Cubbies who send Kyle Hendricks to the hill. Jerad Eickhoff counters for Philadelphia, and the MLB odds board has 8 for the total.


 

Lack Of Run Support Plaguing Both Hurlers
Hendricks gets lost among the other bigger names in the Chicago rotation, but is enjoying a fine season with a sub-3.00 ERA. One reason behind the Cubs splitting his 10 starts up to now has been a lack of run support, the team entering this series averaging an NL-best 5.4 RPG but plating two runs less per contest when the former Dartmouth star takes the mound.

He went the distance against the Phillies 10 days ago in Chicago, a 4-1 victory in which Hendricks surrendered just five hits while striking out seven. That was his second career win vs. Philadelphia in as many starts and he has held the Phils to a .167 average without a homer in those outings.

The Cubs got to Eickhoff for three early runs in that contest, also his second career assignment vs. Chicago with the other a no-decision last September when he worked seven and allowed just one run in an eventual 7-5 walk-off Philly victory. The beefy righthander owns a decent 3.75 ERA over his last six outings, but the Phillies have only won once thanks to plating a combined 10 runs in those contests, half of that total in the lone dubya last month against the Braves.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Crew chief and 29-year veteran umpire Mike Winters will have the plate for Game 2, and brings a 7-4 O/U record vs. the baseball odds into the affair. The California native started the season with a bit of an 'under' lean, but has seen four of his last five appearances behind the dish scoot past the totals. Winters' last four plate assignments in Philadelphia went 'over,' and home underdogs are 0-2 when No. 33 in your umpire program calls balls and strikes.

Clouds during the day should give way around game time, leaving a nice evening for fans at Citizens Bank Park. First pitch is forecast with a 78º reading on thermometers along with an 8-12 mph WNW breeze (in from left field corner). Considering the trends belonging to these two pitchers, an 'under' play seems prudent for my free MLB pick.

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My pick: Cubs Under 8 -110
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Season: 25-25 (+0.80)

6th June
Cubs vs. Phillies Game 1

By: Willie Bee

 

The Chicago Cubs just keep on winning, rolling up victory after victory to build the best record by far in the majors. Meanwhile in Philadelphia, the downward spiral that started for the Phillies a little more than three weeks ago continues to set the backdrop for a clash between the clubs in the City of Brotherly Love.

The 3-game set gets underway Monday night (7:05 PM ET) at Citizens Bank Park with an all-southpaw initial mound duel. ESPN2 will carry the contest nationally, Jon Lester on the bump for the Cubs and Adam Morgan taking his turn in the Philly rotation. Chicago should be decided road chalk for all three matchups, and the MLB odds show a -240 moneyline in Game 1.

Scoreboard bettors are looking at an 8 run mark at most sports books, BetOnline taxing the 'over' with a -120 price. Heritage has already seen the hurdle rise to 8½.

As much winning as the Cubs have been doing this season to sit more than 100 percentage points higher than the next-best MLB club, they're actually beginning this 9-game road trip of a loss made even rarer by the fact it was a game started by ace Jake Arrieta. Chicago is 9½ games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central, and will stop in Atlanta and Washington on this NL East tour. Philadelphia put a dubya on the board Sunday to earn a split in the long series vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, but is just 4-12 since climbing 7-games above .500 on May 18 to drop from second in the division all the way to fourth. 

 

Series Sets Up For Pitching Rematches All 3 Games
This is the second time Lester and Morgan have faced off this year and, in fact, the whole series works out to possibly give us the same three pitching matchups we saw when the clubs met in Chicago a little more than a week ago. At Wrigley, Lester and the Cubs closed as -290 favorites on the baseball betting board and followed through with a 6-2 decision. A pair of Chicago homers fueled a 4-run fourth inning as Lester worked into the seventh allowing one earned run; Morgan was chased one batter into the fifth having allowed all six Cubs runs.

Lester followed that performance up with a complete game victory this past Wednesday vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers, shutting the LA attack down with 10 K's after allowing a leadoff homer in that start. He has won three of his four road assignments and never lost to the Phillies in seven career starts -- Boston and Chicago 6-1 -- while compiling a 1.71 ERA in 47+ innings.

Morgan followed his second career loss in as many starts agains the Cubs with another poor effort against Washington last week, serving up a pair of homers and six runs over six innings of a 7-2 setback to the Nationals. That's five long balls and 17 hits now over his last 10 frames, and the Phillies have lost three of his four assignments at Citizens Bank Park.

 

Cubs Out For 1st Sweep In Philadelphia Since 2000
Lester's win against Warren and the Phils over Memorial Day weekend started a 3-game sweep for the Cubs to avenge Philadelphia's broom job at Wrigley Field last year. All three of the games fell short of the totals which ranged from 9-9½. The teams split a 4-game series at CBP a year ago, three of those four skipping past the numbers that were as low as 7 and as high as 9.

We're not too concerned with the weather for this series until we get to Wednesday's finale. A few clouds will pop up this evening after a generally clear day in Philadelphia, first pitching coming with a rather warm 82º reading on thermometers and an 8-10 mph blow from the SW (out to right). I love the Chicago lineup so much tonight that I'm playing the Cubs on the run line for my free MLB pick.

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My pick: Cubs -1½ -138
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle
Season: 24-25 (-0.20)