The Chicago Cubs play the final game of the three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies with both teams hoping to play well in the final few weeks of the season. The Cubs have a 66-80 record and are having a season to forget while the Phillies have a 73-72 record and are still within striking distance of a playoff spot. For the final game of the series, the Cubs will turn to Kyle Hendricks as their starting pitcher while the Phillies will turn to Adonis Medina to start the game.
Cubs hope offense can step upThe Chicago Cubs are having a year to forget with one of the worst records in the National League. The pitching staff unfortunately has let the team down with Kyle Hendricks particularly, once being a dominant pitcher but allowing 88 runs in 29 starts. Moreover, opposing hitters are making contact at will against Hendricks as he is allowing a .273 expected opponent Batting Average, a .442 expected opponent Slugging Percentage, and a 4.85 expected ERA, all of which have been among the worst of his career.
The hope is that offense can step up and help out Hendricks as the lineup has also struggled this season, scoring only 4.29 runs per game. Patrick Wisdom has 26 home runs and a .540 Slugging Percentage while Ian Happ and Willson Contreras have combined for 40 home runs but the rest of the lineup has struggled this season. Only five active batters in the lineup have 10 home runs or more on the season while Wisdom is the only active batter in the lineup with an OPS+ of 100 or higher, allowing pitchers to eliminate the back half of the batting order.
Phillies hope offense can help out MedinaThe Phillies are hovering around the .500 mark and will need to string together a few wins if they hope to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The hope is that Adonis Medina can provide the team with a great start as the Phillies pitching prospect has only thrown four innings the entire season in the MLB. In Medina's one start, he allowed two runs in four innings while also striking out four batters and the hope is that he can be a pivotal pitcher on the backend of the rotation in the final few weeks of the season.
The offense will try to help out the young pitcher as the lineup is scoring 4.54 runs per game. Bryce Harper has led the lineup with 32 home runs, a .307 Batting Average, a .421 On-Base Percentage, and a .612 Slugging Percentage while Andrew McCutchen and Brad Miller have combined for 42 home runs but the rest of the batting order has stepped up as well. JT Realmuto, Odubel Herrera, and Jean Segura have combined for 39 home runs and 544 total bases as part of a lineup that has seven active batters with 10 home runs or more and six active batters in the lineup with an OPS+ of 100 or higher.