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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers Series Preview

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Expect huge numbers of Cubs fans at this series.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a while since the Cubs and Brewers met -- more than two months, in fact. The Cubs lost two of three at Miller Park back in May, and as it was a weekday series with schools still in session, two of the three crowds were relatively small. (The Wednesday afternoon game, a time when the Brewers often get school and other groups to attend, drew 38,781, the largest crowd of the set.)

This series will be different -- a weekend set in the middle of summer. I checked the Brewers website this morning, and all three games are close to sold out, with just scattered singles and pairs available. With the Brewers not doing well, I'd expect at least half the crowd all three days to be Cubs fans heading to "Wrigley North."

Fun fact

The Brewers are 2-3 against the Cubs this year, and overall 12-21 against N.L. Central teams.

Pitching matchups

Friday: Jason Hammel, RHP (8-5, 3.34 ERA, 1.104 WHIP, 4.33 FIP) vs. Jimmy Nelson, RHP (6-7, 3.39 ERA, 1.368 WHIP, 4.61 FIP)

Saturday: John Lackey, RHP (7-6, 3.75 ERA, 1.099 WHIP, 3.75 FIP) vs. Zach Davies, RHP (6-4, 3.79 EA, 1.209 WHIP, 4.10 FIP)

Sunday: Jon Lester, LHP (10-4, 2.89 ERA, 1.073 WHIP, 4.03 FIP) vs. Junior Guerra, RHP (6-2, 3.06 ERA, 1.064 WHIP, 3.76 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 7:10 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago Plus

Saturday: 6:10 p.m. CT, WGN

Sunday: 1:10 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago

Prediction

The Brewers sneaked to within three games of .500 June 19 at 30-33. Since then they're 10-20 and have lost seven of their last 10. The Cubs had a rough time in their last visit to Milwaukee back in May, losing two of three and having to go 13 innings in the one game they won. However, Cubs starting pitching has been very good since the break and that should be good enough to win two of three here.

Up next

The Cubs come back to Chicago for four against the White Sox, the first two at the Cell starting Monday night, then two at Wrigley.