MLB Wednesday Preview: Phillies at Cubs, Braves at Giants

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

May 22nd, 2019

Philadelphia Phillies (28-20) at Chicago Cubs (28-18), 8:05 p.m. ET

MLB Free Play: Phillies moneyline

Cole Irvin (2-0, 2.77 ERA) (PHI) +140 / +1.5 runs (-140) / Over 10.5 runs (-110) Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.13 ERA) (CHC) -155 / -1.5 runs (+120) / Under 10.5 runs (-110)

Longtime Phillies starter Cole Hamels gets the ball for the Cubs against his old squad at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night. He takes on a promising rookie in Philadelphia's Cole Irvin.

Hamels has pitched well this season but has struggled with command of late. He has issued 17 walks in his last five outings and has struck out 31 batters. There are several pitfalls he'll have to negotiate in the Phillies' lineup. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen, shortstop Jean Segura and catcher J.T. Realmuto are a combined 17-for-57 (.298) all-time against the southpaw.

Cole Irvin has pitched to a 0.923 WHIP through his first two major league starts for Philadelphia (13 innings). It's hard to knock Chicago's offense (fourth in runs per game at 5.33), but perhaps they'll have an off night against a good starter that they've never faced.

Atlanta Braves (26-23) at San Francisco Giants (21-26), 9:45 p.m. ET

MLB Free Play: Braves -0.5, first five innings (-120)

Max Fried (6-2, 2.86 ERA) (ATL) -155 / -1.5 runs (EVEN) / Over 7.5 runs (-105) Jeff Samardzija (2-2, 3.69 ERA) (SF) +140 / +1.5 runs (-120) / Under 7.5 runs (-115)

Two starters who seldom pitch deep into games will go at it at Oracle Park on Wednesday night.

Samardzija has topped out at 90 pitches and seven innings of work in nine starts this season, both attained in a masterful shutout effort against the Rockies on April 11. However, he's lasted only 13 1/3 innings combined in his last three efforts and allowed 10 earned runs on 15 hits (five home runs) and six walks. Samardzija could be barraged by an Atlanta lineup that has tallied 35 runs in its last six contests.

Fried has pitched brilliantly in nine starts this season but has exceeded 100 pitches just once. His deepest outing this year lasted 6 1/3 innings. However, the lefty faces a Giants lineup that's batting just .220 against southpaws, ranking next-to-last in baseball.

Both bullpens figure to be involved somewhat early, which could get Braves backers into trouble. Atlanta's bullpen ERA this year is 4.59 (22nd), while San Francisco's is 3.54 (fifth). A first five innings play is advised.