Series Preview: Cubs at Phillies, September 14 - September 16, 2021

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Series Preview: Cubs at Phillies, September 14 – September 16, 2021

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are hitting the road for six games against the Phillies and Brewers (three a piece), before returning home for an important reverse-standings matchup against the Twins.

With the exception of that two-game series against Minnesota and another three-gamer against the Pirates at the end of the month, the Cubs will face only playoff-hopefuls from here on out (Phillies x3, Brewers x3, Cardinals x7). Yep, that’s right. The Cubs still have seven games against the Cardinals between September 24th and the end of the season, and the Cardinals will probably still be in it for most of that stretch. Gives you ideas, does’t it? 

But first up, the Cubs have a series on the coast with a red-hot Bryce Harper trying to slug his way into October. Let’s see how that goes.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (63-75) were just swept by the playoff-clinching San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field. They’re 14-games under .500, 24 games out of first, and fighting for little more than draft position at this point. The Philadelphia Phillies (72-71), by contrast, are just 2.5 games out of a Wild Card spot and 4.5 games out of first place. They have a lot of ground to cover, without much time remaining, but their season is not over yet.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Tuesday, September 14th at 6:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Wednesday, September 15th at 6:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Thursday, September 16th at 5:05 on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Adrian Sampson (R) vs. Kyle Gibson (R)
Game 2: Alec Mills (R) vs. Ranger Suárez (L)
Game 3: Kyle Hendricks (R) vs. TBD

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Frank Schwindel
•   2B – Matt Duffy/David Bote
•   3B – Patrick Wisdom/Matt Duffy
•   SS – Sergio Alcantara
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Rafael Ortega
•   RF – Jason Heyward

Unavailable: Nico Hoerner, Michael Hermosillo, Jonathan Holder, Nick Madrigal, Jose Lobaton, P.J. Higgins, Kohl Stewart, Brad Wieck

Philadelphia Phillies

•   C – J.T. Realmuto
•   1B – Brad Miller
•   2B – Jean Segura
•   3B – Ronald Torreyes
•   SS – Didi Gregorius
•   LF – Andrew McCutchen
•   CF – Odubel Herrera
•   RF – Bryce Harper

Unavailable: Adam Haseley, Luke Williams, Travis Jankowski, JoJo Romero, Roman Quinn, Rhys Hoskins, Zach Eflin

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -112
Phillies: -19

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.28
Phillies: 4.55

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 5.06
Phillies: 4.69

Keep An Eye Out For …

I mentioned that Bryce Harper is on one right now, so let’s take a closer look. For one, he’s got a nine-game hitting streak that began immediately after he finished a different nine-game hitting streak. And over those 19 games (one without a hit), Harper is slashing .391/.476/.870 (242 wRC+) with six doubles, nine homers, and a 16.7% strikeout rate. Like, WOW. Stretch back to the All-Star break and his wRC+ is still over 200 (209 wRC+). Dude is absolutely destroying the baseball right now.

One underrated aspect of Codi Heuer’s dominance with the Cubs so far (22.0 IP, 1.23 ERA)? The fact that five of his 18 appearances have been multi-inning efforts. We’ll see if he keeps it up next year, but the Cubs might’ve already knocked one-half of the Craig Kimbrel trade completely out of the park.

Author: Michael Cerami

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