The NL Central remains up for grabs with the Cubs three games back of the Milwaukee Brewers while and two-and-a-half behind the Cincinnati Reds, can the Cubs keep pace with the Phillies coming to Wrigley Field?
The Cubs returned from London after two games against the St. Louis Cardinals and now face a Wild Card contender in the Philadelphia Phillies that have been hitting the ball well in June. The Cubs have had high level pitching at the top of the rotation with Marcus Stroman and Justin Steele, but the team needs the likes of Tuesday's starter Jameson Taillon to take a step forward for the team to make a run up the standings.
Here are the odds for Cubs vs. Phillies on Tuesday:
Phillies vs. Cubs odds, run line and total
Phillies vs. Cubs prediction and pick
The Cubs are hitting .261 against left handed pitching this season and I like the matchup against Phillies starter Ranger Suarez, who has been getting hit hard this season after starting the season on the injured list and is due some poor variance on the mound.
Suarez has allowed opponents to hit .315 on the year on balls in play, but has stranded more than 75% of batters on base. While his 3.50 ERA looks solid, it's supported by a 4.33 xERA. The Cubs have pop in the lineup, seventh in OPS against lefties, and can crush Suarez early with his underlying metrics.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are still waiting for Taillon to find his rhythm on the mound, walking a career high amount of batters this season. However, some of it has been due to some poor lucky. Taillon has allowed opponents to hit .331 on balls in play, but hasn't been as fortunate as Suarez, stranding less than 60% of batters.
Taillon's ERA is brutal at 6.71, but his xERA is far lower at 5.58. He has had some bad luck on the mound and I think this is a great buy low spot as a home underdog against an overrated pitcher.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.