miller parkThe Chicago Cubs have won back-to-back series against the Mets and Rangers at home, and now they’ll head up to Wrigley North, to take on the Brewers in Milwaukee.

In case you missed it, the Cubs have made a couple of notable roster moves today, adding reliever Mike Montgomery and center fielder/lead-off man Dexter Fowler, while shipping reliever Spencer Patton and outfielder Albert Almora back down to Triple-A Iowa.

Those two moves alone make this Cubs team look a heck of a lot better, on paper.

Starting tonight for the Chicago Cubs is right-hander Jason Hammel. Hammel has had his struggles from time to time this season, but looked really good his last time out against the Rangers. In that start, he allowed just 1 earned run on 3 hits, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts over 6.0 innings pitched. A strong and healthy Hammel in the second half can take the Cubs a very long way. He’ll pitch to Miguel Montero tonight, as Willson Contreras takes over left field.

Opposing Hammel is righty Jimmy Nelson. Nelson has a respectable 3.39 ERA this season, but the slightest dig into his peripherals (4.62 FIP, 16.9% K-rate, 10.2% walk rate) indicate that he’s been exceedingly lucky, so far. Rarely do any pitchers succeed with a strikeout rate below 20.0% or a walk rate above 10.0% – let alone both. If the Cubs can be patient tonight, I suspect they’ll take plenty of walks and get pitches to drive.

For his career, Nelson has been a lot tougher on righties (.285 wOBA), than lefties (.351) so hopefully Jason Heyward and Miguel Montero can take advantage of this opportunity. Otherwise, I’m just hoping for a nice, safe, fun bounce back game for Dexter Fowler.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (57-37) at Milwaukee Brewers (40-53), 7:10 CT on CSN-C+, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jason Hammel (R): 3.34 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 4.26 xFIP; 2.77 K/BB

versus

Brewers: Jimmy Nelson (R): 3.39 ERA, 4.62 FIP, 4.82 xFIP; 1.66 K/BB



Milwaukee Brewers Lineup:

1. Jonathan Villar, SS

2. Scooter Gennett, 2B

3. Ryan Braun, LF

4. Jonathan Lucroy, C

5. Chris Carter, 1B

6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF

7. Hernan Perez, 3B

8. Ramon Flores, RF

9. Jimmy Nelson, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Kris Bryant, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Ben Zobrist, 2B

5. Willson Contreras, LF

6. Jason Heyward, RF

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. Miguel Montero, C

9. Jason Hammel, P




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