The Chicago Cubs (8-14) and Philadelphia Phillies (10-12) will close out a four-game National League series on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET
Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago captured its second 5-1 victory in this series on Sunday afternoon and now has the opportunity to win its first-ever series at Citizens Bank Park. The Cubs have gone 0-7-1 in their previous eight series at this ball park. Offensively, the team also received its first home run from an outfielder this year, with Joe Mather’s solo shot in the fourth inning. “That’s a crazy fact,” commented Mather after the game. “It felt pretty good.” The club has managed to hit just eight home runs this month. Chicago is 0-3 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 this season.
Cubs starting pitcher Chris Volstad (0-3, 6.14 ERA) will be looking to snap a 15-start winless streak dating back to July 17 of last year, going 0-8 with a 4.59 ERA over that span. The right-hander has been handed three consecutive losses, including a 5-1 home defeat to the St. Louis Cardinals last time out, giving up four runs and six hits over six frames. In 12 career starts versus the Phillies, Volstad is 2-5 with a 5.88 ERA, which includes a 2-1 mark and 6.53 ERA in six outings at this venue.
Philadelphia is guaranteed to suffer its first losing April since the 2007 campaign, as the offense continues to sputter in scoring two or fewer runs 12 times already this season. The Phillies are certainly hoping that regular fixtures Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will return to the lineup in the upcoming weeks. Pitching is the team’s major strength heading into the final day of the month, as the entire staff came into yesterday’s game ranked fifth in the MLB with a 2.94 ERA. Philadelphia is 8-7 versus right-handed starters and the “over” is 9-6 in that situation.
Phillies starting pitcher Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16 ERA) will look to win his third consecutive start, coming off a pair of road wins over the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks. The right-hander has managed to issue just nine walks and strike out 27 batters in 25 combined innings this year. Worley has been spectacular in 20 nighttime appearances (17 starts) in his career, posting an 11-1 record and 1.73 ERA, as opponents are hitting just .198 against him.
Bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 19-7 record in Worley’s last 26 starts, while the Cubs are 4-23 in their last 27 games as a road underdog of +151 to +200.
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