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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers series preview

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The Brewers open this series four games behind the Cubs.

Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The last time these two teams met at Wrigley Field, earlier this month, the Cubs swept the three-game series.

Since then, both teams have treaded water. The Brewers are 11-9 since that series; the Cubs, 12-10, though the Cubs are now riding a three-game winning streak and have won eight of their last 11.

For more on the Brewers, here’s Kyle Lesniewski, manager of our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball.

August was another uneven month for the Brewers, as the same issues continue to plague the team. They ranked tied for 21st in the league with a 4.99 ERA this month and are 26th with 103 runs scored, so they are probably fortunate to have even achieved their current 11-13 record in August. The home runs haven’t been flying over the fence as often as they did earlier in the season, and compounding their run-scoring issues is the fact that they are now down to 23rd in baseball in wRC+ with runners in scoring position. Some numbers suggest that the Brewer have had poor cluster luck in 2019, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult to watch them constantly waste run-scoring opportunities.

Trade acquisitions Jordan Lyles (2.63 ERA) and Drew Pomeranz (2.92 ERA) have been excellent so far, though Lyles won’t start in this series. Adrian Houser (2.54 ERA), Junior Guerra (2.51 ERA) and Alex Claudio (3.24 ERA) have also been terrific in August. But all three of Milwaukee’s starters this series — Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, and Gio Gonzalez — have all suffered blow-up outing recently, and Josh Hader continues to have intermittent struggles with the long ball.

Christian Yelich (146 wRC+) hasn’t kept up his same home run pace, but has still driven the bus offensively along with Ryan Braun (164 wRC+) during August. Keston Hiura, Eric Thames, and Mike Moustakas have been the club’s only other above-average hitters this month, but Moose has been sidelined for a couple games with a sore wrist and may not be ready for the series opener on Friday. Lorenzo Cain continues to struggle and the Brewers are getting next to nothing offensively from the shortstop position.

The Brewers will begin this series four games back of the Cubs for the second Wild Card position, and are only 4-6 in their last 10. Milwaukee needs a series win heading into September if they hope to keep a glimmer of playoff hope alive. If Chicago was somehow able to sweep the Brewers and put them seven games back with less than a month to play, it could effectively be the knockout blow to their 2019 season.

Fun fact

The Cubs have won the last four games played against the Brewers this year and outscored them 28-9 in those four games.

Pitching matchups

Friday: Jose Quintana, LHP (11-8, 4.05 ERA, 1.289 WHIP, 3.70 FIP) vs. Chase Anderson, RHP (6-3, 4.34 ERA, 1.268 WHIP, 4.70 FIP)

Saturday: Cole Hamels, LHP (7-4, 3.73 ERA, 1.326 WHIP, 3.93 FIP) vs. Zach Davies, RHP (8-7, 3.90 ERA, 1.375 WHIP, 4.84 FIP)

Sunday: Yu Darvish, RHP (5-6, 4.25 ERA, 1.142 WHIP, 4.69 FIP) vs. Gio Gonzalez, LHP (2-2, 4.34 ERA, 1.368 WHIP, 4.33 FIP)

Times & TV channels

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

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

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

Prediction

The Cubs have won five of six against the Brewers at Wrigley Field this year, and the Brewers came into this series with a losing record (42-44) in day games. The Cubs will take two of three.

Up next

The Cubs host the Seattle Mariners in a two-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Monday afternoon.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    3
    (76 votes)
  • 46%
    2
    (86 votes)
  • 6%
    1
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (9 votes)
183 votes total Vote Now