Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo reacts after striking out during the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
- See the best bet in baseball for Thursday, July 8th
- The Phillies’ Zach Eflin faces Cubs rookie Adbert Alzolay in Chicago
- See the odds, trends and prediction for the game below
After snapping a long losing streak, the Chicago Cubs will try to make it two wins in a row when they host the Philadelphia Phillies at 8:05 p.m. ET Thursday at Wrigley Field in the finale of a four-game series.
The Cubs (43-44) ended their 11-game skid Wednesday night with an 8-3 victory. They are favored to salvage a split of the series.
The Phillies (41-43) had won four of its last five games prior to Wednesday. They will attempt to win a four-game road series for the first time since 2017.
Adbert Alzolay (4-8, 4.48) is scheduled to pitch for the Cubs against Zach Eflin (3-6, 4.13).
Phillies vs Cubs Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Runline||Total at WilliamHill|
|Philadelphia Phillies||+101||+1.5 (-200)||Over 8 (-105)|
|Chicago Cubs||-111||-1.5 (+170)||Under 8 (-115)|
Odds as of July 8th
2021 World Series Odds Tracker
Eflin Snaps Skid
Eflin won his last time out after going eight straight starts without a victory. Last Saturday, he limited to the visiting San Diego Padres to two runs on three hits in six innings with two strikeouts and two walks.
It was the 10th quality start in 16 tries this season for Eflin, who compiled a 5.04 ERA during his winless stretch. He has also pitched at least six innings on 13 occasions.
Phillies with another strong outing from a starting pitcher. This time thanks to Zach Eflin.
Take a look at all 8 of his strikeouts below 👇#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/dr4pzhF7EV
— Inside Edge (@IE_MLB) April 4, 2021
Eflin has struggled on the road, going 1-5 with a 5.71 ERA in nine starts. In nine turns at night, he is 2-3 with a 3.90 ERA. In four career starts against the Cubs, Eflin is 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA. That includes a 1-0 mark and 2.18 ERA in three games at Wrigley Field.
Cubs slugger Kris Bryant is 8 for 13 (.615) with two doubles against Eflin. However, Bryant is questionable after leaving Wednesday’s game with right hamstring tightness.
With Kris Bryant’s time with the cubs most likely winding down, im doing a THREAD of my favorite Kris Bryant homers. pic.twitter.com/GjssKafUgx
— Brett (@CUBBlEBLUE97) July 5, 2021
Shortstop Javier Baez’s status is also unclear after he sat out Wednesday with a stained thumb.
Rookie Alzolay Struggling
Alzolay has lost four straight starts with a 7.13 ERA, though he pitched better last Saturday in a loss to the Reds at Cincinnati. He allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and one walk.
Adbert Alzolay, 95mph Fastball (swing/miss) and 87mph Slider (swinging K), Individual Pitches + Overlay. pic.twitter.com/DkJlfj9l2M
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 3, 2021
That was Alzolay’s first quality start since May 28. He has four this season in 14 tries and has allowed three runs or less in 11 starts. The Friendly Confines have indeed been friendly for Alzolay as he is 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA in seven starts this season at Wrigley. He has a 2-6 record at night with a 4.98 ERA over nine starts.
Alzolay will be facing the Phillies for the first time in his career and Philadelphia could be without center fielder Odubel Herrera, who has sat out the last two games with ankle and wrist injuries.
The Cubs will hope Alzolay can get a late lead to the bullpen where left-hander Andrew Chafin and closer Craig Kimbrel have been outstanding.
Who has the best facial hair on the Cubs?
☑️ Jake Arrieta
☑️ Joc Pederson
☑️ David Ross
☑️ Andrew Chafin
☑️ Craig Kimbrel
☑️ Javy Báez
♨️ @dunkindonuts pic.twitter.com/0HemTxXJlw
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) July 7, 2021
Chafin has made 23 straight scoreless appearances covering 22.2 innings. Kimbrel has a 0.46 ERA in his last 41 games, dating to last season.
Cubs Snap Phillies’ Streak
The Phillies had beaten the Cubs six straight times prior to Wednesday when Anthony Rizzo, Joc Pederson and Nico Hoerner each had two hits and an RBI to lead Chicago.
Patrick Wisdom added a two-run double for the Cubs. Andrew McCutchen had a two-run homer for the Phillies.
Singles in Wrigleyville. #CubTogether pic.twitter.com/lHBNQGlJsM
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 8, 2021
The teams did not meet during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but the Phillies won five of seven games from the Cubs in 2019. Prior to that, the Cubs took the season series for three straight years from 2016-18, going 13-6 in that span.
Despite Eflin fine outing last weekend, neither he nor Alzolay have been reliable lately. Let’s hit the over after the teams combined for 16, 25 and 11 runs in the first three games of the series.
The Pick: Over 8 (-105)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.