Well, well, well. Here we are: the first big, big series of the season.
It may still be June and the Cubs may have won seven of their first eight contests against the Brewers, but this three-game set still matters, as the top two teams in the NL
Central look to create some separation.
From the looks of it, this series is going to come down to the pitching, and there are interesting stories everywhere on the Cubs side. Jose Quintana, for example, opens things up, and two of his best performances this season came against the Brewers. Tyler Chatwood will try to prove he can throw strikes. Mike Montgomery will (oh, please dear baseball gods) try to keep the good times rolling.
It always “comes down to pitching,” but right now, I think that’s more true than normal. And remember: the Brewers’ bullpen has been lights out, so the damage will probably have to be done against the starters if the Cubs are hoping to win.
We’re Going Streaking
The Chicago Cubs (37-25) may have dropped the finale to the Pirates, but they did win the series and have now won five series in a row. They’re also 8-2 over their past ten games and are just a half-game behind the Brewers in the NL Central.
The Milwaukee Brewers (39-26) did the same things the Cubs did this weekend, winning the first two games against the Phillies, before dropping the finale. Their overall record is still quite good, but they’ve dropped six of their past ten games heading into this series against the Cubs.
Game Times and Broadcasts Info
- Monday, June 11 at 7:10 CT on NBC Sports Chicago+, MLBN (out of market), 670 The Score
- Tuesday, June 12 at 7:10 on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score
- Wednesday, June 13 at 1:10 on WGN, 670 The Score
- Jose Quintana (4.20 ERA, 4.08 FIP, 2.16 K/BB)
- Tyler Chatwood (3.86 ERA, 4.99 FIP; 0.95 K/BB)
- Mike Montgomery (3.56 ERA, 3.82 FIP; 4.27 K/BB)
Active Depth Chart:
- C – Willson Contreras
- 1B – Anthony Rizzo
- 2B – Javy Baez
- 3B – Kris Bryant
- SS – Addison Russell
- LF – Kyle Schwarber/Ben Zobrist
- CF – Albert Almora/Ian Happ
- RF – Jason Heyward/Ben Zobrist
Unavailable: Eddie Butler, Yu Darvish, Carl Edwards Jr.
- Junior Guerra (2.83 ERA, 3.73 FIP; 2.67 K/BB)
- Chase Anderson (4.57 ERA, 5.81 FIP; 1.65 K/BB)
- Jhoulys Chacin (3.58 ERA, 3.98 FIP; 1.90 K/BB)
Active Depth Chart:
- C – Manny Pina
- 1B – Jesus Aguilar
- 2B – Jonathan Villar
- 3B – Travis Shaw
- SS – Orlando Arcia
- LF – Christian Yelich
- CF – Lorenzo Cain
- RF – Domingo Santana
Unavailable: Zach Davies, Nick Franklin, Tyler Saladino, Eric Thames (might be re-activated), Wade Miley, Jimmy Nelson, Stephen Vogt.
Keep an Eye Out For …
Cubs Pitcher: All three of the Cubs starters are going to be important this week, but Brian Duensing might be the guy to watch. As Brett pointed out in the Bullets, Duensing has been a little easier to get to lately (9 runs in the past 3.1 IP) and with Carl Edwards Jr. out, the bullpen needs everyone to be locked down right now.
Cubs Player: Jason Heyward. I’m not done talking about him. He had another TWO multi-hit games against the Pirates this weekend and is working on a five-game hit streak overall. And while all the contact is great, I’m even more excited to say that for the first time in his Cubs career his slugging percentage is back over .400 and his overall slash line (.273/.333/.412) is above-average: 102 wRC+. He’s got an 8.1% walk rate this season and a 10.8% strikeout rate, and is just a different hitter right now.
Brewers Pitcher: Josh Hader still has a sub 1.00-FIP and his ERA is barely higher (1.02). Don’t go to the 9th looking to take the lead, Cubs. Or 7th or 8th, given how they use him.
Brewers Player: Christian Yelich has a five-game hitting streak of his own right now, featuring three multi-hit games and nine hits (including a double and homer) overall. He’s hot. Stay away from him.