Chicago Cubs vs Philadelphia Phillies – Series Preview (July 2–4): Overview, Game and Broadcast Info, Starting Pitchers, W2W4

The Cubs (39-46) were defeated in yet another series, this time a weekend set against the Brewers in Milwaukee that led to them finishing June with a lousy 11-16 record. Combined with an even uglier 10-18 mark in May, it leaves Chicago a season-low seven games under .500 and in last place in the National League Central. It’s with that happy thought in mind that the Phillies, who have the best record in baseball, come to Wrigley for Independence Day.

Philadelphia (55-29) opened the season 8-8 before going on a 32-10 tear to achieve 40 wins by June 1. They have cooled off a bit the last month but still went 15-11 and have an 8-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East. The offense has been outstanding all season with the 4th best OPS in baseball (.754).

Injuries are currently ravaging the Phils’ lineup, with sluggers Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and J.T. Realmuto currently on the IL. Third baseman Alec Bohm is having a very good season and Trea Turner has returned from a hamstring issue and is playing well.

The Phillies have an excellent collection of hitters, but they unquestionably have the best pitching staff in the game with a team ERA of 3.08, well above the second-place Dodgers (3.37). Other than a hiccup in his last outing, Ranger Suárez has been the ace and the best pitcher in the National League. Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Cristopher Sánchez join him to form an elite rotation.

Even though the bullpen hasn’t been as good as the starting staff, it certainly has been effective. Left-handed closer José Alvarado has done a decent job, though Philadelphia has had a lot of lopsided wins that didn’t require a save.

The Cubs haven’t been playing well against anybody, so a matchup with the best team in baseball doesn’t look promising. But since nothing else has worked maybe facing a team nobody, this writer included, thinks they have a chance to beat might lead to unexpected success.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Tuesday, July 2 at 7:05pm CT on TBS and Marquee.
  • Wednesday, July 3 at 7:05pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
  • Thursday, July 4 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
7/2 Hayden Wesneski 26 R 3.60 2-4 4.65 2.75
Michael Mercado 25 R 0.00 0-0 1.16 N/A
7/3 Shōta Imanaga 30 L 3.07 7-2 3.24 6.00
Zack Wheeler 34 R 2.73 9–4 3.32 3.61
7/4 Jameson Taillon 32 R 3.03 4-4 3.86 3.41
Cristopher Sánchez 24 L 2.41 6-3 2.38 3.29

What to Watch For

  • The Cubs bullpen did not give up any runs against the Brewers, yet they still lost two of the three games.
  • Nico Hoerner has two home runs in his last four games.
  • Christopher Morel has just one hit in his last 14 at-bats.
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