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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers series preview

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These games seem important.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been almost two months since these teams met, and both have made significant trade acquisitions. For an update on what’s new with the Brewers, I asked Kyle Lesniewski, manager of our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball, to update us on his team.

An inconsistent offense plagued the Brewers throughout the first half of the season, so naturally the team made a few moves at the deadline to help shore up the weak spots in the lineup. The deals were a bit unconventional, however. Slingin’ Stearns brought in Mike Moustakas to play third and then moved Travis Shaw to second base. Then he went out and got Jonathan Schoop just minutes before the deadline to play at second base and shortstop. Milwaukee now has the ability to field their “goal-line package” on the infield on any given night, with Jesus Aguilar at first, Shaw at second, Schoop at short, and Moose at third base adding up to almost 1,000 pounds of baseball player. The oddball moves have worked so far, as Milwaukee is tied for fourth in the NL with 55 runs scored in August.

Unfortunately, the pitching that has carried the Brewers throughout the season has experienced a few hiccups in recent weeks. Matt Albers, Taylor Williams, and recent acquisition Joakim Soria have all hit the DL, and former All-Star Corey Knebel has struggled so badly that he’s lost his role as closer. Those issues have left the bullpen depth perilously thin. The no-name rotation continues to remain steady, at least, and Milwaukee will send its best two starters by ERA — Jhoulys Chacin (3.91) and staff ace Junior Guerra (3.40) — to the mound against the Cubs. If the Brewers hope to have success in this two-game series down at Wrigley and close the divisional gap (currently down three games to the Cubs), they’ll likely need deep starts by both Guerra and Chacin and for the offense to do actually something for once against Jose Quintana.

Fun fact

The Brewers are 50-24 in night games this year and 17-30 in day games. Meanwhile, the Cubs are 32-28 in night games and 36-21 in day games.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday: Jose Quintana, LHP (10-8, 4.28 ERA, 1.375 WHIP, 4.62 FIP) vs. Jhoulys Chacin, RHP (11-4, 3.91 ERA, 1.217 WHIP, 4.26 FIP)

Wednesday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (8-9, 4.02 ERA, 1.212 WHIP, 4.25 FIP) vs. Junior Guerra, RHP (6-7, 3.40 ERA, 1.290 WHIP, 4.29 FIP)

Times & TV channels

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

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

Prediction

While it would be great to take both these games and put some distance between the Cubs and Brewers, you have to give Milwaukee some credit, they’re a pretty good team, even if their pitching staff could use some upgrades. I’ll call for a split here, even while noting that the Cubs swept a four-game set against the Brewers at Wrigley Field in April.

Up next

The Cubs travel to Pittsburgh for a four-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park beginning Thursday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    2
    (170 votes)
  • 46%
    1
    (180 votes)
  • 10%
    0
    (41 votes)
391 votes total Vote Now