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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers series preview

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The Cubs took three of four from the Brew Crew in Milwaukee three weeks ago.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers enter this series as the hottest team in baseball, having won eight in a row.

That fact should be taken with several mountains of salt. All eight of those wins are against teams with three of the worst records in baseball: the Reds, Marlins and Royals, who are a combined 17-53 this season.

So in addition to the fun fact below, you can add this one: Against teams under .500 so far this year, the Brewers are 11-1. Against teams over .500 (including the Cubs), the Brewers are 5-8.

Am I saying Milwaukee’s 16-9 start is a mirage? Well... yes, yes I am saying exactly that.

The Brewers have also lost first baseman Eric Thames for several weeks (at least) with torn thumb ligaments. They called up pitcher Brandon Woodruff to replace him on the 25-man roster (and so they will have eight relievers for the first time this year), and Jesus Aguilar replaces Thames at first base, for now.

When this series ends, the Cubs will have played eight of their first 25 games against the Brewers. Thanks, schedule-makers.

Fun fact

In addition to the numbers above, the Brewers are 6-7 against N.L. Central teams and 10-2 against teams not in the division.

Pitching matchups

Thursday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (1-1, 4.09 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, 5.63 FIP) vs. Chase Anderson, RHP (2-1, 3.25 ERA, 1.048 WHIP, 5.88 FIP)

Friday: Yu Darvish, RHP (0-2, 6.86 ERA, 1.627 WHIP, 5.00 FIP) vs. Brent Suter, LHP (1-2, 5.68 ERA, 1.461 WHIP, 4.04 FIP)

Saturday: Jose Quintana, LHP (2-1, 7.78 ERA, 1.780 WHIP, 5.20 FIP) vs. Junior Guerra, RHP (2-0, 0.56 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 2.80 FIP)

Sunday: Tyler Chatwood, RHP (1-3, 3.74 ERA, 1.708 WHIP, 4.28 FIP) vs. Zach Davies, RHP (2-2, 4.45 ERA, 1.271 WHIP, 5.18 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Thursday: 7:05 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and Milwaukee markets)

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and Milwaukee markets)

Saturday: 1:20 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and Milwaukee markets)

Sunday: 1:20 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago

Prediction

As noted above, the Cubs took three of four from the Brewers at Miller Park three weeks ago, and possibly could have won that fourth game, too. These pitching matchups don’t look great numbers-wise, but I think this is the series when the rotation finally begins to pitch the way we know they can. The Cubs will take three of four in this one as well.

Up next

The Cubs host the Rockies in a three-game series beginning Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    4
    (55 votes)
  • 44%
    3
    (137 votes)
  • 24%
    2
    (76 votes)
  • 6%
    1
    (19 votes)
  • 7%
    0
    (24 votes)
311 votes total Vote Now