It will be 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels squaring off against Aaron Nola tonight at Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies try to win back-to-back games for the first time this month. Charlie Manuel will also be back in the Phillies’ dugout in his first game as the team’s new hitting coach. It will be just like old times, and it will also be one of the first big-time Phillies games to bet on since PA online sports betting went live last month.
Can the Phillies secure what’s been a recently elusive series victory? Let’s get into it. But first:
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Here are the current odds for tonight’s game between the Cubs and Phillies:
|Cubs||+1.5 (-196)||+102||O 8.5 (-122)|
|Phillies||-1.5 (+166)||-116||U 8.5 (+100)|
|Cubs||+1.5 (-200)||+107||O 8.5 (-118)|
|Phillies||-1.5 (+170)||-121||U 8.5 (+102)|
If you’re looking to grab the Phillies tonight, then head to FanDuel Sportsbook where they are currently -116 on the moneyline. Meanwhile, if you want to take a shot on the Cubs, you can lock them in at +107 with SugarHouse Sportsbook.
Cubs-Phillies Pitching Matchup
Nola (10-3, 3.67 ERA) wasn’t at his best during his most recent start against the Giants last Thursday night. The Phillies’ ace surrendered three earned runs in only five innings of work, but Nola has still been outstanding over his last 10 starts dating back to June 21. In 66.1 IP, Nola has a 2.17 ERA while holding opponents to a .188 batting average and .593 OPS. He’s also striking out 10.3 batters per nine innings during that stretch.
In 15 starts at Citizens Bank Park this season, Nola is 5-1 with a 3.08 ERA. Overall, the Phillies are 9-6 (-$45) in Nola’s home starts, and they are 5-3 (+$171) when favored between -100 to -122 during his starts.
Hamels (6-3, 3.09 ERA) continues to surpass expectations with the Cubs. After 20 disappointing starts with the Rangers last season in which he had a 4.72 ERA, Hamels was outstanding for Chicago, producing a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts. He has carried last year’s late-season resurgence into 2019 where his numbers rivals those of his peak years with the Phillies.
Hamels has thrived at Wrigley Field in nine starts, producing a 2.35 ERA while holding opponents to a .635 OPS. While his road numbers aren’t quite as good, they’re still solid. Hamels is 4-3 with a 3.93 ERA and opponents are posting a .726 OPS.
This will be his third start since missing over a month with a strained oblique, and he’s had mixed results since his return. He pitched five scoreless innings, striking out six Brewers hitters while walking none back on August 3, but he was roughed up in his next start at Cincinnati where he allowed five runs (four earned) on 77 pitches in only three innings of work.
The Cubs are an impressive 13-6 (+$546) in his 19 starts which makes him the team’s most profitable starting pitcher. They are also 6-4 (+$172) in his 10 road starts, 4-1 (+$376) his each of his five starts as an underdog, and 2-1 (+$168) when he starts as a road dog. In short, Hamels has been outstanding as an underdog this season, which is an outlier to the trends you’ll see in a moment.
Cubs-Phillies Betting Trends
I can’t stress this enough: Chicago stinks on the road, and they stink as an underdog. Just awful.
Overall, the Cubs are 23-36 on the road (-$1,195) despite often playing as a favorite, thus you see their terrible overall return for bettors. It’s worth noting the Cubs haven’t won any of their last 11 road series (0-9-2) dating back to late May.
Moreover, they’ve been terrible as an underdog at 14-27 (-$1,177), and it’s probably no surprise then that they’re only 9-23 (-$1,077) as a road underdog. Of course, they have produced a winning record in Hamels’ starts in these various roles.
Finally, the Cubs have been a poor play when they’re anywhere between -114 to +116 on the moneyline, going only 12-19 (-$604).
The Phillies are winning 64% of their games as a home favorite this season with a 32-18 record (+$290), but haven’t been profitable at home overall despite a 35-26 record because of some clunkers as big favorites.
The Phillies are 7-3 (+$160) against left-handed starters as a home favorite this season.
Here’s the problem as I see it. The Phillies haven’t been able to establish any type of momentum in weeks. They haven’t won back-to-back games in 17 days, so I’m not sure I’m ready to believe they’re back on track after last night’s win, particularly after they were again terrible with RISP (0 for 7) and struck out 15 times in eight innings. Still, the Cubs have been a terrible play both on the road and as an underdog, so maybe, possibly the Phils can get going here in Manuel’s return.
I’ll hesitantly roll with the Phillies here as I give a slight nod to Nola over Hamels, but I wouldn’t get crazy with this one.