This series would have had a lot more meaning if the Cubs could have won a few more games and stayed in the division race.
As it is, the games still do mean a lot for the Cubs, and whether they’ll return to Milwaukee next week to face the Brewers in a wild card series.
For more on the Brewers, here’s Harrison Freuck, manager of our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball.
Heading into the final series, Milwaukee has already locked up the NL Central and the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, meaning the team is now trying to give players enough rest while also keeping them in shape. While Milwaukee will likely allow most starters — including the front end of the rotation — to play, these games will primarily be used as tune-ups as the Brewers prepare to welcome an unknown opponent to town for three games next week.
Mark Canha and Carlos Santana have both had major impacts on Milwaukee’s lineup since being added at the deadline, and Christian Yelich has looked solid this season when healthy. William Contreras has also performed as advertised on offense while taking a step forward defensively. On the mound, the three-headed monster of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta look as good as any pitching trio in baseball heading into the postseason. Devin Williams is still Devin Williams, and the rest of the bullpen has done a good job setting him up for most of the season.
With the Brewers already clinching the division and the Cubs fighting for a playoff spot, I’ll take the Cubs to win two of three as the Brewers manage to do enough offensively and on the mound in at least one game to wrap up the season.
The Braves last night became the sixth team this season to sweep a series against the Cubs.
The other sweeps, also three games, were April 28-30 at Miami, May 15-17 at Houston. May 26-28 at home vs. the Reds, June 27-29 at home vs. the Phillies and Sept. 15-17 at Arizona.
The Cubs have swept opponents in five series: April 17-19 at Oakland, June 13-15 at home vs. the Pirates, June 19-22 at Pittsburgh, Sept. 4-6 at home vs. the Giants and Sept. 22-24 at home vs. the Rockies.
The Cubs have swept six series at Milwaukee, the two most recent in 2015. They have been swept at “Wrigley North” in eight series. The last, in 2021, was the only time since 2013. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
Probable pitching matchups
Friday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (6-8, 3.66 ERA, 1.183 WHIP, 3.79 FIP) vs. Colin Rea, RHP (6-6, 4.74 ERA, 1.220 WHIP, 5.07 FIP)
Saturday: Jordan Wicks, LHP (4-1, 3.00 ERA, 1.121 WHIP, 3.96 FIP) vs. TBD
Sunday: Justin Steele, LHP (16-5, 3.06 ERA, 1.171 WHIP, 3.02 FIP) vs. Adrian Houser, RHP (7-5, 4.32 ERA, 1.411 WHIP, 4.06 FIP)
Times & TV channels
Friday: 7:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Brewers market territories)
Saturday: 6:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network
Sunday: 2:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network
The Cubs have two lefthanders going in this series and the Brewers are under .500 (21-25) vs. LH starters this year. The Cubs do seem to have the pitching advantage in this series, missing the Brewers’ three best starters.
I’ll go with Harrison Freuck and pick the Cubs to win two of three. Will that be enough to take the third wild card?
As always, we await developments.
TBD. Either the Cubs make the postseason and face the Brewers in a wild card series beginning Tuesday in Milwaukee or their 2023 season ends, in which case we will next see the Cubs on the field Friday, February 23, 2024 at Sloan Park against the White Sox.
How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?
This poll is closed