Series Previews 2018

Phillies welcome Cubs to town with season’s final month beckoning



Anthony Rizzo and the Cubs have the National League’s best record. (Arturo Pardavila III/Wikimedia Commons)

Coming off of a hard-fought win to close out a disappointing series against the Washington Nationals, the Philadelphia Phillies will host the Chicago Cubs for a weekend series. The Phillies will have their work cut out for them as the Cubs have been red-hot as of late. Currently, the Cubs have won eight of their last nine games. A Cubs victory over the Braves Thursday allowed the Phillies to edge within three games of the National League East lead. Now, as they look to close that gap, the Phillies need to cool the Cubs off. 

On the mound for the Phillies in this series, we will see Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin and Aaron Nola. Nola’s start was bumped up one day to get an extra start at home, where he’s 9-0 in 2018. He will have his work cut out for him facing yet another ace in Jon Lester. Pivetta and Eflin will be facing off against Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks, as they will pitch games one and two for the Cubs. 

We will not get to see Cole Hamels pitch in this series, but he should receive a proper homecoming this weekend. Given that Hamels has an 0.69 ERA in six starts since joining the Cubs, that’s probably the best possible scenario for the Phillies.

Teams that make the playoffs win (and sometimes even sweep) series against other playoff-caliber teams. The Phillies aren’t catching the Cubs at an ideal time, but this weekend could allow them to make a statement.  

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Jose Quintana (11-9,4.33 ERA, 4.74 FIP) vs. Nick Pivetta (7-10, 4.76 ERA, 3.61 FIP)

Game 2: Kyle Hendricks (10-10, 3.86 ERA, 4.00 FIP) vs. Zach Eflin (9-5, 3.99 ERA, 3.82 FIP)

Game 3: Jon Lester (14-5, 3.67 ERA, 4.78 FIP) vs. Aaron Nola (15-3, 2.10 ERA, 2.62 FIP)

Where to Watch/Listen

Game 1

TV: MLB Network

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game 2

TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game 3

TV: TBS

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Series Notes

  • Aaron Nola, who will square off with Jon Lester in the series finale, is 9-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 13 starts at home this season.
  • Jon Lester is 9-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 13 starts on the road this season. He may not be having as good of a season as Max Scherzer, but it’s the third consecutive start that will see Nola square off with an elite National League starter.
  • Roman Quinn is batting .500 in his last 24 at bats. As Phillies Nation’s Tim Kelly pointed out, he reached three career triples in 42 at-bats quicker than Jimmy Rollins did.
  • Anthony Rizzo has had trouble hitting on the road this year. His batting average at home is .338, but on the road it is only .230.

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