The Cubs started their 10-game road swing by splitting their four-game series with the Reds in Cincinnati after falling behind 2-1. While that doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, it’s only the second time they since May that they haven’t lost a road series. It’s also the first time in eight tries that they haven’t lost a divisional series away from Wrigley (0-7-1).
Chicago’s lack of success in that area has prevented them from securing a substantial lead in a chaotic NL Central, so something is going to have to change. That won’t be easy with this three-game set against the Phillies, who are themselves fighting for a postseason spot in a competitive division.
Philadelphia incredibly active this offseason, trading for J.T. Realmuto and signing Bryce Harper to a mega-deal. But at just 60-58, it’s clear the moves haven’t paid off as much they’d hoped. The Phillies’ 557 runs scored rank ninth in the NL, while their .245 average and .738 OPS both rank 12th.
The pitching has been an even bigger problem for the Phils, as a 4.64 team ERA is 13th in the league. Closer Hector Neris has struggled with a 3.51 ERA and four losses and Jake Arrieta, who has a 4.64 ERA, is considering shutting it down for the season due to bone spurs in his right elbow.
Despite their disappointing season, the Phillies are still a dangerous team. Harper has heated up and they took two of four from the Cubs at Wrigley this season. That being said, this would be a great time for Chicago to win their first road series in three months.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Tuesday, August 13 at 6:05pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network (out of market)
- Wednesday, August 14 at 6:05pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago and ESPN (out of market)
- Thursday, August 15 at 6:05pm CT on WGN and MLB Network (out of market)
What to Watch For
- Nicholas Castellanos has 12 hits in his last 30 at-bats, including four home runs. Saturday was his first game without a hit as a member of the Cubs.
- Ian Happ is hitting .391 with four homers his last seven games and has a 1.041 OPS in 16 games since his call-up.
- Kris Bryant had been struggling mightily after his knee injury, but he must be feeling better. He has 10 hits in his last 26 at-bats, including the game-winning home run on Sunday.