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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers series preview

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The Brew Crew make their first Wrigley visit of 2019.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Cubs lost two of three to the Brewers in Miller Park on their 2-7 season-beginning road trip. When it ended, the Cubs were 5½ games out of first place.

Since then the Cubs are 20-6 and have picked up 6½ games on the Brewers, who are just 15-14 in that time frame. This oughta be fun. For more on the fun, here’s Kyle Lesniewski, manager of our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball.

The Brewers are riding high on a six-game winning streak and are finally starting to see the pitching come together. They’ve held opposing lineups — the Mets and Nationals — to three runs or fewer in each of their six victories, getting their best turn through the rotation so far this season. Gio Gonzalez has been exactly what you’d hope for so far, providing a stable 5-6 innings in each of his two starts, giving the offense a chance to win. Zach Davies is a surprise among NL ERA leaders (1.56) so far and appears to be firmly past the shoulder and back woes that plagued him in 2019. Jhoulys Chacin has been troubled by home run issues at times this year but he’s yielded only two runs across his last 11 innings. A slow starter historically, he may finally be rounding into form.

The offense continues to hum along at a solid pace, currently sitting at 6th in the NL with 4.82 runs per game. Reigning MVP Christian Yelich and his league-leading 16 home runs draws most of the eyes, but Mike Moustakas is hitting for a career-high 135 wRC+ and he’s popped nine dingers of his own. Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar are still in the doldrums, but the unexpectedly strong contributions of reserves Eric Thames and Ben Gamel have helped pick up the slack. Ryan Braun’s bat is starting to heat up, too.

Fun fact

The Brewers have played well in Miller Park, but are just 7-8 in road games, and have already been swept twice on the road (in St. Louis and Anaheim). More on the Milwaukee home/road splits below.

Pitching matchups

Friday: Jose Quintana, LHP (4-1, 3.40 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 3.59 FIP) vs. Gio Gonzalez, LHP (0-0, 2.61 ERA, 0.968 WHIP, 1.69 FIP)

Saturday: Cole Hamels, LHP (3-0, 3.38 ERA, 1.102 WHIP, 3.65 FIP) vs. Zach Davies, RHP (4-0, 1.56 ERA, 1.240 WHIP, 3.93 FIP)

Sunday: Jon Lester, LHP (2-1, 1.41 ERA, 1.031 WHIP, 2.95 FIP) vs. Jhoulys Chacin, RHP (3-3, 5.03 ERA, 1.271 WHIP, 5.99 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Brewers market territories)

Saturday: 1:20 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago

Sunday: 6:05 p.m., ESPN

Prediction

The Brewers are a significantly worse-hitting team away from Miller Park (.696 OPS, 20 HR in 15 road games, .806 OPS, 45 HR in 24 home games). Christian Yelich, in particular, has ridiculous home-road splits (1.665 OPS, 15 HR in 82 PA at home, .766 OPS, 1 HR in 61 PA on the road).

The Cubs will take advantage of that by winning two of three here.

Up next

The Cubs have Monday off, then travel to Cincinnati for a three-game series against the Reds beginning Tuesday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    3
    (67 votes)
  • 60%
    2
    (180 votes)
  • 9%
    1
    (29 votes)
  • 7%
    0
    (22 votes)
298 votes total Vote Now