The Cubs have their sights set on their sixth win in eight games and third straight series win since the All-Star Break. They can achieve both tonight, with a win against the Brewers in Milwaukee.
Meanwhile, the Brewers have lost five of their first seven games since the break – including three of the last four.
John Lackey takes the mound for Chicago, and will look to bust his current slump and continue the Brewers skid. The Cubs have lost five of the last six games in which Lackey has started, while opponents have slashed .270/.350/.482/.832 during that stretch. He has posted a respectable 22.4 K% in those starts, but has walked 17 in 36.2 innings (10.5 BB%).
He has been a bit unlucky of late, though, evidenced by a 19.0 HR/FB% and 59.8 LOB% in his last three starts. But perhaps it is time for Lackey to make his own luck on the mound. And what better team to do it against than the Brewers, whose active starters collectively own a .250/.298/.341 slash line in 94 plate appearances against Lackey.
Opposing Lackey is right-hander Zach Davies, who has turned in a quality start in six of his last eight tries. Davies has struck out 47 in his last 51 innings of work, while issuing only nine walks. Opponents are hitting .218 with a .261 on-base percentage and .324 slugging percentage in those games. The Dodgers roughed him up for six runs in 4.1 innings on June 23, but Davies has allowed two earned runs in his last two starts (13.2 innings) against the Nationals and Reds.
Chicago Cubs (58-37) at Milwaukee Brewers (40-54), 6:10 CT on WGN, 670 The Score.
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have some good, clean, “safe for work” Saturday night fun.
Cubs: John Lackey (R): 3.75 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 3.80 xFIP; 3.37 K/BB
Brewers: Zach Davies (R): 3.79 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 3.95 xFIP; 3.17 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. Zach Davies, P
Ryan Braun (4-for-19, .211 avg.; 26.3 K%) has his struggles with Lackey, but Scooter Gennett (5-for-14, .357 avg.) and Jonathan Lucroy (5-for-18, .381 OBP) have fared well.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Kris Bryant, 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Ben Zobrist, LF
5. Willson Contreras, C
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. Addison Russell, SS
8. Javy Baez, 2B
9. John Lackey, P
Did you know: The only active Cubs player with a hit off Davies is Javy Baez, the rest of his teammates are 0-for-14.