Series Preview: Phillies at Cubs, July 5 - July 8, 2021

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Series Preview: Phillies at Cubs, July 5 – July 8, 2021

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have just seven more games before the All-Star break, all at Wrigley Field. They’ll start with four straight night games (7:05 CT) against the Phillies, and they’ll follow that up with three more against the Cardinals this weekend.

After a brutal losing streak, the Cubs are getting frightfully close to being out of contention, even for just the division, but that doesn’t mean there’s not anything to watch. Personally, I’ll have my eye on the continued development of Nico Hoerner and Adbert Alzolay, both of whom should play a big role in the Cubs immediate future. And I’ll also be watching Alec Mills to see if he can continue to deliver usable innings as a starter. But perhaps most importantly, we’ll want to make sure the All-Stars like Craig Kimbrel and Kris Bryant stay healthy and effective in the weeks ahead.

But, hey, if the Cubs want to sweep this one just to keep things interesting …

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (42-42) have lost nine straight games, are back down to .500, and have fallen to third place in the division. The Philadelphia Phillies (39-42) are 5-5 over their last ten and still under .500 overall. They did just take two of three from the Padres though.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Monday, July 5th at 7:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Tuesday, July 6th at 7:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Wednesday, July 7th at 7:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Thursday, July 8th at 7:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Zach Davies (R) v. Matt Moore (L)
Game 2: Jake Arrieta (R) v. Aaron Nola (R)
Game 3: Alec Mills (R) v. Zach Wheeler (R)
Game 4: Adbert Alzolay (R) v. Zach Eflin (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Anthony Rizzo
•   2B – Nico Hoerner
•   3B – Kris Bryant/Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Javy Báez
•   LF – Joc Pederson
•   CF – Ian Happ/Kris Bryant
•   RF – Jason Heyward/Kris Bryant

Unavailable: Justin Steele, David Bote, Trevor Williams, Dillon Maples, Ryan Tepera, Rowan Wick, Jonathan Holder, Austin Romine, Matt Duffy, Jose Lobaton, P.J. Higgins

Philadelphia Phillies

•   C – J.T. Realmuto
•   1B – Rhys Hoskins
•   2B – Jean Segura
•   3B – Alex Bohm
•   SS – Didi Gregorius
•   LF – Andrew McCutchen
•   CF – Odubel Herrera
•   RF – Bryce Harper

Unavailable: Chase Anderson, Matt Joyce, Sam Coonrod, Seranthony Dominguez, JoJo Romero, Roman Quinn

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -5
Phillies: -31

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.13
Phillies: 4.22

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.19
Phillies: 4.60

Keep An Eye Out For …

In addition to the items mentioned in the intro, Jake Arrieta will be someone to watch this week. Brett got into it this morning, but this could very well be Arrieta’s last start in a Cubs uniform if things don’t go well.

Willson Contreras has a five game hitting streak going, and the (completely arbitrary) cutoff date of June 21st looks pretty good: .306/.457/.583 (185 wRC+) with identical 19.6% walk and strikeout rates.

This month, Bryce Harper has five multi-hit games and is slashing .253/.330/.530 (129 wRC+) with seven homers, six of which have come in the last week and a half.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami