Philadelphia Phillies (26-23) at Chicago Cubs (33-14)
Sunday, May 29 - 2:20 PM EST
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
Last week’s three-game losing streak appears to be nothing more than a blip on the radar for the Chicago Cubs, who have won four straight to strengthen their hold on the best record in the majors. The Cubs will try to finish a three-game sweep of the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon when they send veteran John Lackey to the mound.
The Cubs are 31-2 when scoring four or more runs, but they haven’t been able to reach the magic number in Lackey’s last three starts - totaling just five runs in those three games. Chicago’s offense has been clicking lately, as the Cubs have put up 31 runs during their four-game winning streak. The Phillies, meanwhile, have scored only 22 runs in their past eight games, going 2-6 over that stretch. Philadelphia has only three extra-base hits in the series compared with nine for Chicago.
TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, WGN (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Vince Velasquez (5-1, 2.75 ERA) vs. Cubs RH John Lackey (4-2, 3.38)
Velasquez has come back to Earth a bit after an incredible start to the season, as his ERA has risen more than a run over his past four outings. The 23-year-old does not have a quality start over that span and was unable to record an out in the fifth inning Monday at Detroit, allowing three runs and nine hits over four-plus frames in a no-decision. Velasquez has yet to face the Cubs in his young career.
Lackey has posted five straight quality starts but has only one win over that stretch. The 37-year-old struck out nine over seven solid innings in his last start, holding St. Louis to three runs and four hits in a no-decision. Lackey has had tough luck against the Phillies, owning a 3-4 record despite pitching to a 3.13 ERA in seven meetings.
1. Cubs 2B/OF Ben Zobrist went 2-for-4 Saturday and is 24-for-54 during a 14-game hitting streak – the longest active streak in the National League and the second-longest in his career.
2. Phillies SS Freddy Galvis went 2-for-3 Saturday to extend his hitting streak to six games and has three multi-hit contests over that span.
3. Chicago RF Jason Heyward is 12-for-32 during an eight-game home hitting streak after going 4-for-46 in his first 13 home contests as a Cub.
PREDICTION: Cubs 5, Phillies 3