Series Preview: Phillies at Cubs, September 27 – September 29, 2022

The Cubs are hosting the Phillies fresh off yet another series win here in the second half of the season. And remember: winning is good, actually. Except … it gets complicated this week. The more the Cubs win, the easier the Brewers path to the playoffs becomes.

Let’s just hope the Cubs sweep, and the Brewers get swept, eh? That work for everyone?

After this series, it’s six against the Reds (three at home, three on the road). And that’s all she wrote.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (67-86) took three of four from the Pirates and are back to three games over .500 in the second-half of the season. The Philadelphia Phillies (83-69) have lost 7 of their last 10 and are clinging to the final playoff slot by a thread.

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Hayden Wesneski has been nothing short of brilliant in his 22.0 innings and two starts for the Cubs this season (2.45 ERA), especially the 24 strikeouts against just 4 walks. But three of his four games came at home, and all four were against teams already out of the race. On Wednesday, he’ll face a former Cy Young Finalist in Aaron Nola alongside a Phillies battling for their playoff lives. This will be a MUCH bigger test than the Pirates and Reds. I’m looking forward to it.

Kyle Schwarber’s overall numbers aren’t quite as strong this season (121 wRC+) as they were last year (145 wRC+), but he has hit a career-best 42 home runs for the Phillies. However, that extra power has come at the expense of a 30.4% strikeout rate,. All that said, check out his numbers over his last 64 PAs: .231/.375/.596 (167 wRC+), 23.4 K%. Our boy’s hot.

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Tuesday, September 27 at 6:40 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, September 28 at 6:40 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Thursday, September 29 at 1:20 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
  • Pitching Probables

    Game 1: Marcus Stroman (RHP) vs. Zack Wheeler (RHP)
    Game 2: Hayden Wesneski (RHP) vs. Aaron Nola (RHP)
    Game 3: Javier Assad (RHP) vs. Ranger Suarez (LHP)

    Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Yan Gomes
  • 1B – Alfonso Rivas
  • 2B – Esteban Quiroz
  • 3B – David Bote
  • SS – Zach McKinstry/Chris Morel
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF -Michael Hermosillo/Chris Morel
  • RF – Patrick Wisdom
  • DH – Franmil Reyes
  • Note: Nico Hoerner (triceps) has returned and played one game at DH. It’s not clear when he’ll return to the field. If he does return to shortstop, I think that’ll push Esteban Quiroz out more often in favor of Zach McKinstry. Though McKinstry can play some third base in place of David Bote, as well. It’s really all a mess right now, and I wouldn’t worry about who’s playing where with nine games to go.

    Injured/Unavailable: Willson Contreras, Nick Madrigal, Steven Brault, Justin Steele, Codi Heuer, Ethan Roberts, Jason Heyward, Kyle Hendricks, Brad Wieck, Rafael Ortega, Alec Mills … Seiya Suzuki(?)

    Philadelphia Phillies

  • C – J.T. Realmuto
  • 1B – Rhys Hoskins
  • 2B – Jean Segura
  • 3B – Alec Bohm
  • SS – Bryson Stott
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber
  • CF – Brandon Marsh
  • RF – Matt Vierling
  • DH – Bryce Harper
  • Injured/Unavailable: Nick Castellanos, Edmundo Sosa, Brad Hand, Hans Crouse, Damon Jones, James McArthur, Simon Muzziotti, Corey Knebel, Kent Emanuel, Mark Appel

    By the Numbers

    Run Differential:
    Cubs: -102
    Phillies: +67

    Runs Scored Per Game:
    Cubs: 4.02
    Phillies: 4.70

    Runs Allowed Per Game:
    Cubs: 4.69
    Phillies: 4.26

    written by

    Michael Cerami began covering the Chicago Cubs for Bleacher Nation as a part-time contributor in 2015. One year later, he joined Bleacher Nation full-time, covering the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball. Today, Michael runs Bleacher Nation, contributing as a writer (Cubs, MLB) and an editor for all sections of the site, including the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. In 2019, Michael was the co-host of NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs Post-Game Show Outside the Ivy. You can find him on Twitter/X @Michael_Cerami

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