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The Cubs and Phillies begin a three-game series in Philadelphia on Friday night to kick off their second half of the season, and MLB expert Mike Spector is here with his prediction for the series opener.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs Prediction: Should You Count on Justin Steele and the Underdog Cubs?

The Chicago Cubs almost went into the All-Star Break riding a ten-game losing streak, but they snapped a nine-game losing streak in the nick of time with a 3-2 victory against the New York Mets last Sunday. Conversely, the Philadelphia Phillies have been much more consistent with a three-game winning streak entering the second half and are a respectable 24-14 against teams under .500 on the season.

Will Philadelphia extend its streak to four games, or will Chicago use the momentum of its last win to find success tonight? Read on for our best play and odds for Friday's series opener between the Cubs and Phillies.

Phillies vs. Cubs Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: July 22, 2022
  • Game Time: 7:05 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: Apple TV+

Click Here for Phillies vs Cubs Odds

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Phillies vs. Cubs Line Movement

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs Prediction

Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele is 3-6 with a 4.15 ERA this season, but the metrics suggest he has been much better than those numbers. Steele has a 3.56 xERA, so the 0.59 difference from his actual ERA means he has been unlucky. The Cubs lefty has been difficult to square up, as his barrel percentage allowed is in the 96th percentile, and his hard hit percentage and xSLG are in the 78th percentile or better. Steele has been an innings eater of late, as he is looking for his ninth straight appearance of at least five innings and has thrown quality starts in back-to-back outings.

Steele is opposed by Philadelphia's Kyle Gibson (5-3, 4.35), who the metrics suggest is lucky to have a winning record. Gibson only ranks better than the 66th percentile in any of Statcast's metrics, and the soft-tossing righty is in the bottom third of the league in xBA, K%, and xSLG. Gibson has just two consecutive starts of throwing five or more innings and has been prone to the occasional blow-up. He faces a Cubs lineup that has overcome a miserable start to the season to rank in the league's top half in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging.

The over has cashed in eight of the last nine meetings between these teams, but with how well Steele is pitching, we are bucking this trend in favor of the more favorable odds with Chicago as underdogs. Philadelphia is a -135 moneyline favorite and is just 20-16 when favored by at least that much. Chicago is 17-26 with odds of at least +115 as underdogs but has won 40% of its games as road underdogs and just 36.4% of its games as home underdogs. We expect the Cubs to start the second half strong with their promising young southpaw on the mound.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs Pick

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Article Author


Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest


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