Phillies vs Cubs Odds | Expert MLB Pick, Prediction Today

Phillies vs Cubs Odds | Expert MLB Pick, Prediction Today article feature image

Via Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Taijuan Walker #99 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on June 16, 2023 in Oakland, California.

Phillies vs. Cubs Odds

Thursday, June 29
8:05 p.m. ET
Phillies Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -115
Cubs Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+100 10

-104 / -118
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

The Phillies are beginning to find themselves again as they have won four out of their last five to climb five games over .500. They've taken the first two in Chicago, but will they solve an effective Kyle Hendricks?

Let's break it down in my Phillies vs. Cubs series finale preview, which includes a betting pick on the total.

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Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies will send Taijuan Walker back to the hill in the midst of what's been an excellent June. He's 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his five starts this month, striking out 28 in 30 innings and working around nine walks. His Walk Rate still sits above 9%, which is certainly a concern, but Walker's Ground Ball Rate remains a solid 47.1% and has led to a perfectly fine .246 Expected Batting Average.

Walker has overperformed a bit during this dream run in June, but we're still looking at a reliable pitcher here. Walker's 41.2% Hard-hit Rate may scare some people off, but he's steadily induced ground balls all season. His strikeouts are even up from where they were last year.

You can make the argument that he's faced four pretty poor offenses this month, drawing the Mets twice along with the Dodgers, Athletics and Tigers, but it's not as if the Cubs have a ton to offer at the dish. Walker spun 5 1/3 scoreless innings when he faced the Cubs last month in Philly.

As for this offense, things still aren't quite where they need to be. The Phillies have walked in 10.1% of their plate appearances during the last week, which is a massive step in the right direction, and they've also hit a respectable .241 during that span. They're still lacking in the power department with a .151 ISO and a high 22.8% Strikeout Rate, but the good news is it looks like Trea Turner is beginning to turn it around at the plate.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have been marginally better than the Phillies over the last week with a solid .170 ISO and a .262 batting average, but they've fallen short in the plate-discipline numbers. Chicago has walked in 9.7% of plate appearances this year, which is one of the best marks in baseball, but that number is just 6.5% over the last week. Strikeouts also continue to be an issue, coming in nearly a quarter of the Cubs' plate appearances over the last week.

As for Hendricks, he has been shockingly strong this season after it appeared he'd hit a sharp decline. His ERA stands at 2.60, and while he surely hasn't been deserving of these results with a 4.19 xERA, he's still improved from where he's been the last two seasons. His xBA is down to .260 after it was at .270 or worse the past two seasons, and his xSLG of .400 rivals the number we saw from Hendricks in 2019, when he finished with a .288 ERA.

Obviously, Hendricks is not going to strike many guys out, but he's back inducing ground balls (44.5% Ground Ball Rate) after posting a 37% Ground Ball Rate a season ago.

Phillies vs. Cubs Betting Pick

To topple the Phillies and Cubs, you need to suppress the home-run threats up and down the lineup. With two ground-ball pitchers squaring off here, I think there's a solid chance of that happening.

I'm cautiously optimistic that Hendricks has figured out how to pitch again, and while his expected stats don't match his solid results to this point, it's important to have some perspective. He's not allowing a ton of probable extra-base hits and barrels like he did the last two seasons, and that makes him an intriguing guy to buy.

I'll bet Under 10 with both offenses coming in with questions and both pitchers looking surprisingly effective.

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