MLB Predictions: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs

The Philadelphia Phillies (2-2) and Chicago Cubs (1-3) will continue a National League Series Saturday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 2:20 p.m. ET at Wrigley Field

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs 

The Philadelphia Phillies are hoping for a better start from Cliff Lee the second time around
The Philadelphia Phillies are hoping for a better start from Cliff Lee the second time around

Philadelphia has scored 26 runs and is hitting .300 on the season through three games, as it comes off a 7-2 victory over Chicago as +131 road underdogs, while going UNDER the betting total for the third time in four opportunities to start the 2013 campaign.  Dating back to May 1, 2013, leadoff man Ben Revere’s .344 batting average is second to only two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera’s .346.  Philadelphia is 13-12 as road favorites of -125 to -150 the last two-plus seasons.

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee (1-0, 14.40 ERA) won on Opening Day despite giving up eight runs in five innings of work against the Texas Rangers—just the third time in MLB since 2008 that a pitcher has allowed eight runs and picked up a victory.  The left-hander is 17-9 with a 2.96 ERA in 39 career outings in April, including a 2-1 mark and 3.03 ERA in five appearances a season ago.  In seven lifetime starts versus the Cubs, Lee has put together a 4-0 record and 1.95 ERA, including a 1-0 mark and 2.77 ERA in four efforts at this ballpark.

Chicago hasn’t scored more than three runs in a game, as it has a team batting average of .201, including a .121 mark with runners in scoring position.  The Cubs need Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo to start producing at the plate—combining to go 4-for-34 (.118) with one run scored and just a single extra-base hit.  The club had been getting great production out of leadoff man Emilio Bonifacio, but he was hitless in three at-bats Friday after starting off the season 11-for-16 through three games.  Chicago is 32-40 as a home underdogs of +100 to +125 since the start of the 2012 campaign.

Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (0-0, 0.00 ERA) didn’t record a decision in a 1-0 road loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday—allowing just five hits over seven shutout innings.  The right-hander is 10-21 with a 4.92 ERA in 95 career daytime appearances (34 starts), with opposing hitters batting .268 against him.  In nine lifetime outings (three starts) versus the Phillies, Samardzija has compiled a 1-3 record and 10.80 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 6-2 record in their last eight meetings in the Windy City

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