Cubs vs Phillies Predictions, Picks, Odds: North Siders Take It to Nola

The Chicago Cubs broke out of an offensive slump in style on Friday night, and our MLB betting picks expect them to pick up right where they left off against the struggling Aaron Nola on Saturday afternoon.

Chris Faria - Betting Analyst at
Chris Faria • Betting Analyst
May 20, 2023 • 09:12 ET • 4 min read
Ian Happ Chicago Cubs MLB
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The Chicago Cubs will look to earn their second straight win over the Philadelphia Phillies this afternoon following a dominating 10-1 victory in the series opener. Meanwhile, Philadelphia comes into the contest looking to snap a five-game losing streak.

Jameson Taillon has struggled in his first couple of months with the Cubs, which could give the Phillies a chance to snap their skid, but Aaron Nola hasn’t been much better for the Phillies.

Will Philadelphia’s bats wake up against a struggling starter, or will Chicago’s offense stay on top? We’ll discuss in our Cubs vs Phillies MLB picks and predictions for Saturday, May 20.

Cubs vs Phillies odds

Cubs vs Phillies predictions

The Chicago Cubs snapped a five-game skid of their own in the series opener thanks to a spectacular start from Marcus Stroman, who surrendered just three hits and one earned run over six innings, plus a much-needed offensive explosion.

Chicago had averaged just 3.40 runs per game during its losing streak, but a four-run second inning got the Cubs off to a quick start and they never looked back. Nico Hoerner had two doubles and four RBI to lead the team, while Christopher Morel and Nick Madrigal knocked in two runs apiece.

The Cubs’ bats will look to stay hot and pounce on Aaron Nola, who’s had a rocky start to his campaign. The southpaw gave up six hits and four earned runs over seven innings against the Rockies in his last start on May 14, and has surrendered at least three runs in seven of nine appearances this year.

Despite their recent low-scoring skid, Chicago ranks 10th in the majors with 216 runs scored, led by Hoerner (23 RBI) and Patrick Wisdom (23 RBI). The Cubs have also scored at least five runs in eight of their last 12 meetings against the Philadelphia Phillies — a trend that should continue given Nola’s shaky start to the season.

My best bet: Cubs Over 4.5 runs (+135 at BetMGM)

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Cubs vs Phillies moneyline analysis

The Phillies opened as the home favorite in the MLB odds for the second straight contest, this time coming in at -163. While Jameson Taillon has been even worse than Nola so far this year, I think Chicago’s bats could still give them the edge today over Philadelphia’s struggling offense.

Philadelphia’s losing streak pretty much comes down to a complete lack of run support, as the Phillies are scoring a mere 2.20 runs per game during the skid. Scoring just one run against Stroman is understandable given his excellent year so far, but the Phillies’ offense has looked relatively lifeless for a while now, ranking 22nd in runs (184) and 20th in home runs (45).

The Cubs have had some offensive struggles of their own this month with Wisdom and Ian Happ combining for just eight RBI, but Morel (6 HR, 12 RBI) and Seiya Suzuki (4 HR, 11 RBI) have picked up the slack.

Of course, the Phillies bats could suddenly wake up like the Cubs’ did last night, but their recent play doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Cubs vs Phillies Over/Under analysis

The total for today’s contest opened at 9 runs and held steady there at most books through Friday night. Considering how poor both starters have been, I think the Over is the play in this one.

Yes, the Phillies’ bats have gone completely quiet. But if they are going to wake up, there’s no better time than against Taillon, who’s had a miserable start to his career in Chicago. The right-hander has allowed at least four earned runs in three of his last five starts while pitching through the fifth inning just twice over that span.

In the other dugout is Nola, who’s definitely been more consistent but is still on pace for one of his worst seasons in the majors with a 4.53 ERA — nearly one run above his career average.

The Over is also 8-0 in Chicago’s last eight games, and 4-1 in the last five meetings in Philadelphia, so expect some fireworks today.

Cubs vs Phillies game info

Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2023
First pitch: 4:05 p.m. ET

Starting pitchers

Jameson Taillon (0-2, 6.66 ERA): Taillon has really struggled over his last three starts, as he’s failed to pitch out of the fifth inning since April 15 while posting a 9.58 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP in May. The right-hander hasn’t had a single quality start this season, although he hasn’t had much help from his team either, with just 19 runs in support through his six outings.

Aaron Nola (3-3, 4.53 ERA): Nola was solid in April, posting a 3.58 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP through five starts, but he’s fallen back down to earth in May with a 4.66 ERA in three outings. The right-hander had one start against Chicago last year, giving up five hits and four earned runs over six innings.

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Trend to know

The Over is 6-0 in Chicago’s last six games vs. a right-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Cubs vs. Phillies


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