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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers preview, Friday 8/2, 1:20 CT

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This series seems important.

Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images

The Cubs have completed 108 games through Thursday, or exactly two-thirds of the 2019 season. They are on pace for 86 wins, which... might actually be enough to win the Comedy Central. On the other hand, more wins would be better.

Other Cubs paces for the season to date:

  • Willson Contreras: .907 OPS would be a career high. On pace for career highs in runs, home runs, RBI and walks. If he gets to 30 home runs (currently 19), he’d become just the third Cubs catcher to reach that milestone (Gabby Hartnett, 1930 and Rick Wilkins, 1993).
  • Anthony Rizzo: .909 OPS would be his best since 2016. On pace for 32 HR and 106 RBI. Rizzo hit 32 home runs every year from 2014-17.
  • Javier Baez: His .852 OPS is a bit off last year’s .881, but is currently on pace for 37 home runs, which would be a career high.
  • Kris Bryant: On pace for 120 runs (most since 2016). On pace for 32 home runs (most since 2016). His .927 OPS is in line with 2016 (.939) and 2017 (.946). On the other hand, his last five games: 1-for-21 with nine strikeouts. Maybe he needs a day off.
  • Jason Heyward: His .810 OPS is his best since .814 in 2012. He’s on pace for 22 home runs, which would also be his best since 2012. Since June 22 (31 games) he’s hitting .339/.372/.565 (39-for-115) with nine doubles, a triple and five home runs.
  • No Cubs pitcher is on pace for 200 innings this year. Yu Darvish leads the staff with 121 innings, a pace for about 180.

The Cubs were 31-23 over their first 54 games, then 26-28 over their next 54. Onward to a better last third of the season!

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Brewers lineup:

Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Zach Davies, RHP

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

This is a pitching rematch of the game last Sunday in Milwaukee. Jose Quintana was sailing along with a 7-0 lead, before he started getting hit hard in the fifth inning, and he had to depart one out short of qualifying for a win.

It’s a bit concerning that after having dominated the Brewers through 2018, Q has an 8.79 ERA against them this year in three starts, his worst against any team he has started against more than once in 2019. Same for the 1.674 WHIP, and the four home runs allowed (in just 14⅓ innings).

Quintana has talent, no doubt about it. And he can look dominant in almost any start he makes, but then he seems to lose focus in the middle innings. It’s mystifying.

Zach Davies was off to a good start this year, but has struggled since the beginning of June, and his last two starts (including allowing seven runs in five innings to the Cubs): 13.00 ERA, 1.889 WHIP, four home runs in nine innings. Two of those home runs were hit by Kyle Schwarber last Sunday.

Davies also has an ERA nearly two runs higher in day games (4.61) than night games (2.67), so perhaps the afternoon start against him will be good news for the Cubs, as it was last Sunday.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Brewers market territories).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. If you do go there to interact with Brewers fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. Here’s how it works.

You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads” so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game’s StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.