The Phillies and Cubs continue a mid-week series as each team looks to stay in the playoff picture.
Aaron Nola has fallen off from his elite form in 2022, but is there cause for optimism on Wednesday in Chicago? Nola will need to find his command on the mound, but he is owed some better variance in the field. Can it come against the Cubs on Wednesday?
Here are the odds and our best bet, with an eye on the total on Wednesday:
Phillies vs. Cubs odds, run line and total
Phillies vs. Cubs prediction and pick
Nola's ERA is up to 4.38 this season behind an increased walk rate of 2.32 from 1.27 compared to last season. While the righty is giving out more free bases, he has been unlucky once the ball is in play. Opponents are hitting only .255 this season against Nola, but he is allowing home runs on 15% of fly balls, his highest mark since 2020. Some of this variance-related numbers have led to his xERA sitting nearly a run lower at 3.51.
The Cubs are hitting below league average against right handed pitching and I expect Nola to limit the damage, but the Phillies offense may have a tough go on Wednesday against lefty Drew Smyly on Wednesday. Like the Cubs for righties, Philly hits lefties at a below average rate.
Smyly has been pitching to a 3.61 ERA this season, right in line with Nola's xERA and I believe we see both pitchers put together strong showings on Wednesday.