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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers preview, Saturday 8/31, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for their fifth straight win.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs caught a break from the weather Friday. Not the weather in Chicago, but the weather in St. Louis. Heavy rain postponed the Cardinals/Reds game, so those teams will now have to play back-to-back doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday, and the Cardinals also have an afternoon game Monday against the Giants — five games in about 52 hours.

It has been 38 years since the Cubs had to play doubleheaders on consecutive days, near the end of the misbegotten 1981 season (September 27 and 28). They did play five games in three days from August 31-September 2, 2002. The Brewers and Cardinals were involved.

Saturday notes:

  • With Friday’s win, the Cubs improved to 20-5 against N.L. Central teams at home this year, including a combined 12-1 mark at home vs. Milwaukee (6-1) and St. Louis (6-0). Since May 11, the Cubs are 9-0 against Milwaukee and St. Louis at Wrigley Field.
  • The Cubs have won six straight home games against Milwaukee for the first time since April 26-August 18, 2016.
  • Nicholas Castellanos, who homered twice Friday, recorded his sixth-career multi-homer game and second this season (also, August 8 at Cincinnati). His 11 homers this month are the most by a Cub in August since Sammy Sosa’s 11 homers in 2002. Castellanos leads the National League with 40 hits and 20 extra-base hits in August. Lastly, he has 10 first-inning homers this season, including six since joining the Cubs.
  • Kyle Schwarber hit his team-leading 32nd homer. It was his fifth homer against a left-handed pitcher this season. The 32 homers are tied with Anthony RIzzo (three times) and Rick Monday (once) for the most by a Cubs left-handed batter since Billy Williams hit 37 homers in 1972. Williams has the most homers in a season for a Cubs lefthanded hitter, 42 in 1970.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

The Brewers lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Brewers lineup.

Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Zach Davies, RHP

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

Cole Hamels returns from the paternity list to face the Brewers, who he has dominated this year. He has a 1.50 ERA and 0.889 WHIP in three starts against them, with 16 strikeouts in 18 innings. He had a good start against them last year, too, after the Cubs acquired him.

This, despite Ryan Braun hitting him well (three home runs, 13-for-45), and Hernan Perez 8-for-16 (double, triple, home run) against him. The rest of the Brewers he’s been able to handle, including Christian Yelich (.267, 8-for-30, eight strikeouts).

The Brewers entered this series 19-22 vs. LH starters. Let’s hope that keeps going.

Zach Davies has made four starts against the Cubs this year and they have hit him quite well: 5.14 ERA, 1.429 ERA, five home runs in 21 innings.

Davies started against the Cubs August 2 at Wrigley Field, then went on the injured list with back problems. Jason Heyward and Javier Baez homered off him that day. He hasn’t been great since his return, either, as he hasn’t thrown more than five innings in either of the two starts he’s made. He’s also been significantly worse in day games (5.17 ERA in 12 starts) than night games (2.74 ERA, 13 starts).

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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.