MONDAY: Adam Morgan (1-4, 7.07 ERA) vs Jon Lester (6-3, 2.29 ERA): Frankly, I’m a little surprised that Morgan is making this start. He has been bombed out of three of his last four outings, and has appeared to have nothing at this point that makes him a good option in the big leagues. Lester on the other hand is a two-time World Series champion and 3x All-Star who has finished in 4th place in Cy Young balloting twice. Tonight’s opener is a bad pitching mismatch in the Cubs favor. The Phillies will need a bunch of breaks to steal this one.
TUESDAY: Jerad Eickhoff (2-8, 3.93 ERA) vs Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 2.84 ERA): Eickhoff has seven Quality Starts, pitches deep into his starts, doesn’t allow many home runs or walks…so why is he 2-8? Well first, in 6 of his 11 starts the Phillies have scored two or fewer runs. And he does have three blow-up efforts. Hendricks meanwhile has been nothing but consistent for the Cubs. He is coming in off back-to-back tremendous outings, including a complete game five-hitter vs the Phils on May 28th in which he struck out seven and walked no one.
WEDNESDAY: Vincent Velasquez (5-2, 3.67 ERA) vs Jason Hammel (7-1, 2.14 ERA): Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Velasquez throws too many pitches, and suffers from a lack of control and discipline, especially when things don’t go his way. He now has three consecutive starts in which he has not gotten past the 5th inning. In his last 13 innings over those starts, Vinny has allowed 12 earned runs on 22 hits with a mediocre 14/7 K:BB ratio. Hammel is a 33-year old veteran righty enjoying his 2nd straight strong season with the Cubs. He has lasted at least six innings in 9 of his 10 starts.
Next: Phillies Keys to Victory vs Cubs