Free MLB Picks: Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies Saturday Pro Baseball Betting

The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies have split the first two games of their four-game series at Citizens Bank Park

Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies SP Cliff Lee is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in seven home starts

Chicago was denied its first three-game winning streak Friday night in falling 7-5 to Philadelphia, as its the only team that has not won three games in a row this season.  The Cubs will be playing their ninth game (2-6) of a stretch that sees the club play 38 games in 38 days through July 10.  Saturday will mark the team’s fifth appearance on FOX Saturday regional broadcasts this year, posting a 2-2 mark in such contests.  Facing left-handed starters hasn’t been a bad proposition for the offense, owning a .290 batting average, which is second in the National League and third in the Majors.  Chicago is still just 8-7 versus southpaws this season and 51-51 over the last three campaigns.

Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza is 2-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 10 starts this season and is coming off an 8-2 road defeat to the Reds.  In that particular start, he allowed four runs and six hits over four innings, which was also his first outing since May 17.  “Physically I felt fine,” Garza commented after the start.  “I was a little off.  That’s not what I wanted.”  The right-hander has compiled a losing 1-3 mark and 5.16 ERA in five road starts, surrendering just a single home run in 29 2/3 innings.  Garza has faced the Phillies just once in the regular season, tallying a win by giving up just a single run over eight strong innings as a member of the Rays on June 24, 2009.

Philadelphia had averaged 2.8 runs per game in its first eight games this month, hitting .207 with a .316 on-base percentage, but exploded for seven runs last night.  The Phillies have tallied an impressive 105-75 mark against National League Central division teams since the beginning of the 2007 season.  During that same five-year span, the club has gone 60-29 against that particular division at home.  A concern for fans leading into the rest of the month is the club’s lack of winning during the month of June in recent years, failing to post a record above .500 since 2007.  Philadelphia is 22-12 in home games this year and 127-82 over the last three years.

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee is 5-5 with a 3.62 ERA in 13 starts this season and has alternated wins and losses over his last three outings.  He tallied a 3-1 home win over the Dodgers last time out, tossing seven shutout innings, while issuing just a single walk and compiling 10 strikeouts.  Lee has posted a solid 4-1 mark and 2.34 ERA in seven home starts, surrendering just three home runs in 50 frames.  In four career starts versus the Cubs, he has a perfect 3-0 record and 1.71 ERA, holding the club to a .231 average.

Bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 8-2 record in Lee’s last 10 home starts, while the Cubs are 1-4 in Garza’s last five road contests

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