The Cubs just came off a hard-fought series against a good, playoff-contending Giants team, winning three of four and reducing their division-clinching magic number to 11.
Now, they meet up against a rebuilding team having a rough year. These are the games good teams should win, and the Cubs can't afford to be complacent. They've got to approach this series just as they did the one against the Giants -- get solid pitching efforts and timely hits. Those are, of course, the keys to winning any game against any big-league team. The Brewers just came off a sweep of the free-falling Pirates in Pittsburgh, outscoring the Bucs 18-4, so they cannot be underestimated.
There should be tons of Cubs fans at this series. There always are, but with the Cubs nearing a division clinching, the Brewers long out of the race, and schools starting back up and summer vacations ending, these should feel like home games.
Since the Brewers began the dismantling of their team at the trading deadline, July 31, they are 13-20. In that same time span the Cubs are 25-7.
Monday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (13-7, 2.09 ERA, 0.981 WHIP, 3.33 FIP) vs. Zach Davies, RHP (10-6, 4.07 ERA, 1.256 WHIP, 3.97 FIP)
Tuesday: Jason Hammel, RHP (14-7, 3.14 ERA, 1.137 WHIP, 4.26 FIP) vs. Wily Peralta, RHP (5-9, 5.53 ERA, 1.646 WHIP, 5.13 FIP)
Wednesday: Mike Montgomery, RHP (4-5, 2.80 ERA, 1.219 WHIP, 3.75 FIP) vs. Matt Garza, RHP (5-6, 4.57 ERA, 1.525 WHIP, 4.44 FIP)
Times & TV channels
Monday: 12:10 p.m. CT, WGN, ESPN (outside Chicago and Milwaukee markets)
Tuesday: 7:10 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago Plus
Wednesday: 7:10 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago
The Cubs appear to have favorable pitching matchups in all three of these games. They swept the Brewers at Wrigley last month and took two of three the last time they visited Miller Park in July. Just "because baseball," I'll say the Cubs take two of three again.