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Thread: JA Happ and the Phillies

  1. #1 JA Happ and the Phillies 
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    I haven't been on here in a while but I did stumble back earlier today and wanted to give everyone my insight on the game tonight at Wrigley Field between the Phillies and the Cubs.

    The Cubs are about -130 underdogs while the Phillies stand at around +120. This is understandable as the Cubs are 33-19 at home and the Phillies were just swept by the Florida Marlins in their own house. The Phillies have also lost seven of their last ten games and have scored more than five runs just one time since July 28th.

    Despite all of this, I do believe that the Phillies, behind JA Happ, are going to get the win tonight.

    Let's start with the starting pitching match up. JA Happ of the Phillies is 8-2 with a 2.74 ERA. He has an impressive 1.72 ERA on the road and an even more impressive .884 WHIP. Happ has made 14 starts this year and worked 93.1 innings. Opponents have a hitting line of .230/.293/.378 against him as a starting pitcher. He has shown a lot of grit as a young pitcher. With runners in scoring position, opposers have just a .206 OBP and a .161 SLG%. In high leverage innings, Happ has a line against of .149/.208/.213. In other words, Happ has been great this year and has shown a lot of mental toughness. He's going to need it tonight in this hyped up game against the Cubs.

    On the other hand, Rich Harden, in 19 starts, has a 4.41 ERA. He averages less than 6 IP/GS and has given up a disastrous 1.73 HR/9. He also is giving up 8.2 H/9 and 3.9 BB/9. This all leads to a 1.346 WHIP. Clearly, something just isn't right with Harden's movement and control of his pitches. He has a 6.84 ERA and 1.541 WHIP at Wrigley Field this season and that makes absolutley perfect sense. There is no way that Harden can get away with giving up the hits, homeruns, and walks that he issues in a hitters ballpark such as Wrigley. The Phillies, who may be slumping, are looking to get their offense back on track and Rich Harden will undoubtedly give them some fat, juicy pitches to drive.

    When you look at these two offenses, you notice the Phillies are struggling heavily. However, the Phillies are a proven force unlike the Cubs. The Phils are sixth in the MLB with a .341 wOBA and tied for fifth with a .781 OPS. In comparision, the Cubs have a .745 team OPS and a .324 wOBA. With persistant hitters such as Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, and Ryan Howard, the Phillies offense will get back on track soon - especially since they are going up against Rich Harden. The Phillies may only be scoring 3.6 runs per game in the last week, but the Cubs haven't been much better at just 4.0 in that same span. Charlie Manuel has been very good about motivating his guys when they're going through a rough stretch and he will come through here.

    A weak pitcher, a hitters ballpark, and away from Citizen's Bank Park, the Phillies' bats are in a prime spot to succeed tonight.

    Finally, we take a look at the two bullpens. The Phillies have gotten solid contributions from guys like Scott Eyre (1.90 ERA) and set up man Ryan Madson (3.19 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 7.9 H/9, and 0.8 HR/9). However, Brad Lidge has struggled this year as the closer after a perfect season in 2008. He has posted a 7.24 ERA in 41 innings. He is giving up 10.5 H/9 and an astoundingly bad 5.3 BB/9.

    The Cubs have had their own problems. Kevin Gregg has a 4.01 ERA and is giving up 1.7 HR/9. A dangerous combination in Wrigley Field and especially against a team like the Phillies. He also walks 3.7 per 9 innings. Sean Marshall actually hasn't been as good as everybody seems to believe. His .288 BABIP indicates a bit of luck as does his 4.34 FIP.

    In addition to that, the Cubs entire bullpen has walk problems. They are at nearly 5 BB/9 as a whole and that is dangerous against a patient team with a lot of pop such as the Phillies.

    Defensively, the Cubs have a -0.2 UZR/150 while the Phillies are up at 3.7 UZR/150. The Phillies dominate in catigories such as ARM as well, they are up at 10.3 while the Cubs are way down at -1.5.

    My prediction is a 7-3 win for the Phillies. I am recommending that you take them moneyline and take them reverse run line for a small amount as well.

    It's not too often that you can find an underdog who has the advantage in all four catigories of the game (offense, defense, starting pitching, bullpen), and when you do you have to bet it big. This is my largest play of the year and I am 99% sure that the I am going to get it right. Good luck which ever side you choose.

    Duke
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  2. #2  
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    What an awful, clearly biased write-up. Harden's a weak pitcher? I laid down heavy on the Cubs after reading that as a pure FADE. I'll be sure to thank you later $$$$$$
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  3. #3  
    RX Member LouHoltz's Avatar
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    You are leaving out Hardens numbers vs. the Phillies. The last two times Harden faced the Phills as a cub he held them to a run in each outing. When Harden was an Athletic, he pitched a complete game and completely shut down the Phillies offense. The Phillies have never swung the bat good against Harden.
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  4. #4  
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    yeah I personally lean cubs here but game is too close to call. I'm playing Cards instead.
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  5. #5  
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    It's really too small of a sample size to say that Rich Harden pitches well against the Phillies especially considering that the Phillies are better on offense last season.

    The bottom line is that Harden has been terrible at home because he is giving up too many hits, walks, and homeruns - that hurts a lot more at Wrigley than it might at other parks.

    Either way, I've stated my case, we'll see what happens tonight.
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  6. #6  
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    hmmmmmm
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