Phillies Battle Chicago at Wrigley with Both Squads Rolling Print
Monday, 30 July 2007 01:38
MLB Headline News

Two of NL's Hottest Collide

Following a successful road trip, the Chicago Cubs are on the cusp of the NL Central lead. In order to reach the top spot Monday, though, they'll need to overcome possibly the hottest team in baseball.

The Cubs seek to move into first place in the Central when they open a four-game series at Wrigley Field against the surging Philadelphia Phillies.

Chicago (55-48) was as many as nine games below .500 earlier this season, and trailed Milwaukee by 7 1/2 games in the division with a 39-40 record at the start of July. With a 16-8 mark this month, though, the Cubs have pulled within one-half game of the Brewers - the closest they've been since opening day.

Carlos Zambrano earned his major league-leading 14th win Sunday and Derrek Lee homered for the third time in four days as Chicago won 6-0 at Cincinnati to complete a 4-2 road trip.

With a victory Monday, the Cubs would move percentage points ahead of the idle Brewers.

"It was a good road trip. We won both series and you can't be disappointed in that," Lee told the Cubs' official Web site. "We're in great position. We're sitting right there. We have a lot of baseball to go. We have to continue to play well."

No team in the majors is playing better than the Phillies (55-49) right now. Philadelphia has won eight of its last nine games to move within 3 1/2 games of the NL East-leading New York Mets, and completed their first three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates since 2001, with a 5-1 victory Sunday.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Chicago -109 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game. No over/under line has been set at this time (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 69% of bets for this game have been placed on Chicago -109 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Jimmy Rollins had his second consecutive three-hit game and scored twice in the series finale. The shortstop, who is batting third in the Philadelphia lineup while All-Star second baseman Chase Utley is out with a broken hand, is batting .381 (16-for-42) with four triples and two homers during a nine-game hitting streak.

"It doesn't matter where I hit in the lineup, it never has," Rollins said. "We can't let injuries kill our spirit. We have to keep fighting."

Rollins is 0-for-4 lifetime against Cubs starter Ted Lilly (11-4, 3.46 ERA), who takes the mound seeking his eighth consecutive win.

The left-hander is 7-0 in eight starts since June 15, has won his last six outings, and has a sparkling 1.83 ERA in five starts this month. He gave up one run and six hits over seven innings of Wednesday's 7-1 victory at St. Louis.

Lilly earned the Cubs' only win in a three-game set at Philadelphia earlier this season, limiting the Phillies to one run and three hits in seven innings of a 4-1 victory on May 13.

Two days prior to that contest, Phillies starter Cole Hamels (11-5, 3.63) defeated the Cubs 7-2. The 23-year-old left-hander allowed two runs over seven innings.

However, Hamels is returning to the site of the worst start of his brief big league career. He surrendered a career-high nine runs - five earned - and nine hits, including two homers, in just two innings of an 11-2 defeat at Wrigley on Aug. 24 of last season.

Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano is 5-for-16 (.313) with three homers versus Hamels.

Hamels is 0-1 in his last two starts despite allowing only three runs over 14 innings. He held the Washington Nationals to two runs and six hits over seven innings Wednesday, before the Phillies prevailed 7-5 in 14 innings.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

More MLB Baseball coverage from theSpread.com

 - MLB news wire
 - Current MLB Injuries
 - 2007 MLB standings
 - 2007 MLB schedule
 - 2007 MLB Umpire sheet
 - 2007 MLB stats
 - MLB scoreboard
 - Expert MLB picks
 - Accuscore predictions
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - MLB home

 

MLB Team Pages

Top MLB Public Bets

#1 963 Toronto Blue Jays 98%
#2 957 Washington Nationals 96%
#3 965 New York Yankees 94%
#4 969 Milwaukee Brewers 89%
#5 956 New York Mets 74%
#6 967 Oakland Athletics 68%
#7 953 Arizona Diamondbacks 53%
#8 962 San Francisco Giants 50%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

MLB Futures

MLB TEAM WORLD SERIES ODDS CURRENT
OAKLAND ATHLETICS 5/1
LOS ANGELES DODGERS 11/2
DETROIT TIGERS 11/2
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 9/1
LOS ANGELES ANGELS 9/1
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 10/1
ST LOUIS CARDINALS 12/1
BALTIMORE ORIOLES 16/1
MILWAUKEE BREWERS 16/1
NEW YORK YANKEES 18/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com