Series Preview: Cubs at Brewers, September 3 - September 5, 2018

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Series Preview: Cubs at Brewers, September 3 – September 5, 2018

Chicago Cubs


Over the next ten days, the first-place Chicago Cubs will face the second-place Milwaukee Brewers six times. Thus, the Brewers do have a legitimate chance to make up some serious ground in the standings (they’re currently 5.0 games back) and one final run at the division. HOWEVA, if they get swept – or even simply lose this series – they’ll probably have to focus more squarely on the Wild Card starting pretty much immediately.

In fact, even a 2-1 Brewers series win would drop their elimination number below 20, so while it may extend their hope until at least the next series, it’s hard to say it would provide much assurance. So, basically, Cubs … just don’t get swept.

Oh, and if the Cubs sweep the Brewers, their elimination number will drop all the way down to 15(!).

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (81-55) have been hot-hot-hot lately, winning 8 of their past 10 games and building a season-high 5.0 game lead. They have four more wins and five fewer losses than any other team in the National League.

The Milwaukee Brewers (77-61) have been but pretty hot, themselves, lately. And have won 7 of their past 10 games. With that said, they’re only four games over .500 in the second half of the season after a blistering hot first half.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Monday, September 3rd at 1:10 CT on WGN, 670 The Score
  • Tuesday, September 4th at 7:10 CT on CSNC, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, September 5th at 7:10 CT on WGN, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Cole Hamels (3.70 ERA, 4.45 FIP; 2.87 K/BB)
  • Mike Montgomery (3.82 ERA, 3.87 FIP; 2.03 K/BB)
  • Jose Quintana (4.21 ERA, 4.59 FIP; 2.02 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Daniel Murphy
  • 3B – Kris Bryant
  • SS – Javy Baez
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber/Ben Zobrist
  • CF – Ian Happ/Albert Almora
  • RF – Jason Heyward/Ben Zobrist

Unavailable: Tyler Chatwood, Yu Darvish, Drew Smyly, Brandon Morrow, Brian Duensing, Justin Hancock, Jason Heyward

Milwaukee Brewers

Probable Pitchers:

  • Zach Davies (5.23 ERA, 5.29 FIP; 1.82 K/BB)
  • Wade Miley (2.18 ERA, 3.73 FIP; 1.77 K/BB)
  • Jhoulys Chacin (3.53 ERA, 3.94 FIP; 2.21 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Manny Pina
  • 1B – Jesus Aguilar
  • 2B – Travis Shaw
  • 3B – Mike Moustakas
  • SS – Orlando Arcia
  • LF – Ryan Braun
  • CF – Lorenzo Cain
  • RF – Christian Yelich

Unavailable: Nick Franklin, Jimmy Nelson, Brent Suter, Stephen Vogt.

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Carl Edwards Jr. has somehow managed to have – essentially – his best season from a results perspective, despite a meteoric drop in his ground ball rate. What was 58.3% in 2015, became 50.0% in 2016, became 44.4% last season, became 29.8%(!) this year. If you’re unfamiliar with where those marks rank relative to other pitchers, think of it as elite (2015), all-star (2016), average (2017), well below average (2018). He’s got plenty of other promising things going on, but that’s wild.

Cubs Player: Kris Bryant may not be as hot as Anthony Rizzo, Daniel Murphy, Ben Zobrist, or Javy Baez (yet), but he did have a good first weekend back and remains crucial to the Cubs chances this season. In eight plate appearances against the Phillies this weekend, he notched three hits including a double plus a walk and scored two runs. He’s hit a ton of line drives so far, so here’s hoping that continues.

Brewers Pitcher: Thanks to an absolute blow up in Cincinnati this week (0.2 IP, 3H, 1BB, 4ER), Josh Hader’s second-half ERA has ballooned to 3.32 (2.10 FIP). He’s still quite good, but probably isn’t as untouchable as he was in the first-half of the season.

Brewers Player: Christian Yelich has been ALL-WORLD in the second half of the season. Through 40 games, he’s slashed .360/.412/.744 (204 wRC+) with 16 homers, 36 runs, 38 RBI, and 4 stolen bases. In fact, he’s essentially played himself into NL MVP contention. Of course, just like everyone else, he’ll really be fighting for second place. #ElMago.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami