Chicago Cubs (35-57) at Philadelphia (49-43)
When: Friday, July 22nd 2022
Where: Citizens Bank Park,
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: MLB.tv
Opening Odds: Philadelphia -151/9
The Philadelphia Phillies will look to keep their push for a postseason berth going when they start the second half at home against the Chicago Cubs on Friday night. The Phillies have been red-hot since firing manager Joe Girardi but did hit a rough spot with four consecutive losses last week before sweeping a three-game series at Miami prior to the All-Star Break. They are now 27-14 since interim manager Rob Thomson took over and are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the final wild card spot in the National League. All-Star representative Kyle Schwarber has kept the offense going despite the Phillies not having Bryce Harper or Jean Segura for the last month. Schwarber has 29 home runs this season and nine since Harper went on the injured list with a fractured left thumb.
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The Cubs are going in the opposite direction and avoided losing a 10th straight game with a 3-2 home win over the New York Mets on Sunday. The Cubs have no shot at making the postseason this year and will probably look to trade All-Star catcher Willson Contreras before the Aug. 31 deadline. Contreras has been a bright spot for a Cubs team that his having a miserable season, hitting 13 homeruns and boasts an .821 OPS. The Phillies took five of the seven matchups with Chicago in 2021 and averaged 9.2 runs a game.
Pitchers: Cubs – Justin Steele (3-6, 4.15) | Phillies – Kyle Gibson (5-3, 4.35)
Justin Steele will face the Phillies for the first time and is coming off a rough outing versus the Baltimore Orioles on July 13. The lefty allowed six hits and four runs (three earned) over six innings in a 7-1 set back to the Orioles. The Cubs are just 6-11 in Steele’s 17 starts this season.
Kyle Gibson has been dominant in his previous two starts after a rough couple of outings prior to that. He shutout the Cardinals over seven innings on July 9 and then ended the first half with a gem against the Marlins last Friday. Gibson allowed four hits and one run in six innings in picking up his fifth win.
This line seems really low for two teams heading in opposite directions. Gibson is not the Phillies’ best starter but has been good lately. I’ll take the home team here.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free MLB Picks page for today.
Pick: Phillies -127