Well, here we are: on the doorstep of September.
When I was looking ahead at this part of the schedule about a month ago, I thought this three-game series against the Brewers was going to be a lot more stressful than it currently feels (especially with another four-game set against them next weekend), but so much has changed since then.
The Brewers have struggled lately and have fallen way back behind the Cardinals in the NL Central (5.5 games) and even the Cubs in the Wild Card race (4.0 games). So while these next seven games against the Brewers can be crucial, there’s a lot more pressure on Milwaukee than Chicago.
Just check out the odds:
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) August 30, 2019
If the Cubs perform well enough, they could (more-or-less) end the Brewers season by next Sunday.
We’re Going Streaking
The Chicago Cubs (72-61) somehow managed to sweep the seemingly un-sweepable series, which has kept them in the race. They’re just 1.5 games behind the Cardinals and are riding a three-game winning streak.
The Milwaukee Brewers (67-63) have lost four of six games to the Cardinals in the last week and a half which has absolutely crushed their chances in the NL Central. They now stand 4.0 games behind the Cubs and 5.5 games behind the first-place Cardinals.
Game Times and Broadcasts Info
- Friday, August 30th at 1:20 CT on WGN, 670 The Score
- Saturday, August 31st at 1:20 CT on NBCSCH, 670 The Score
- Sunday, September 1st at 1:20 CT on NBCSCH, 670 The Score
Game 1: Jose Quintana (L) v. Chase Anderson (R)
Game 2: Cole Hamels (L) v. Zach Davies (R)
Game 3: Yu Darvish (R) v. Gio Gonzalez (L)
- C – Victor Caratini
- 1B – Ian Happ/Victor Caratini (?)
- 2B – Tony Kemp/Addison Russell
- 3B – Kris Bryant
- SS – Javy Baez
- LF – Kyle Schwarber
- CF – Jason Heyward
- RF – Nicholas Castellanos
Unavailable: Anthony Rizzo(?), Willson Contreras, Daniel Descalso, Derek Holland, Xavier Cedeno, Brandon Morrow, Allen Webster, Ben Zobrist (until Sunday, presumably)
- C – Yasmani Grandal
- 1B – Eric Thames
- 2B – Keston Hiura
- 3B – Mike Moustakas
- SS – Orlando Arcia
- LF – Ryan Braun
- CF – Lorenzo Cain
- RF – Christian Yelich
Unavailable: Jeremy Jeffress, Brandon Woodruff, Jimmy Nelson
Keep An Eye Out For …
Cubs Pitcher: Jose Quintana is taking the ball later this afternoon, and will look to bounce back after a short outing against the Nationals. Quintana allowed 4 earned runs in that one (over just 4.0 IP), but had otherwise just gone four starts and 26.0 IP before his last 4 earned runs. So hopefully it was just a blip and he’s still locked in. He’s been solid against the Brewers in the past. Let’s hope that remains true today.
Cubs Player: Kyle Schwarber is slashing .247/.353/.575 (135 wRC+) in the month of August, with a 12.9% walk rate and 22.4% strikeout rate. He’s also got seven homers and 3 doubles in just 73 August at-bats, which is pretty great. Let’s hope he can keep this hot streak alive.
Brewers Pitcher: Gio Gonzalez has given the Cubs trouble in the past, and that’s even as recently as August 3rd, when the Cubs did already have Nicholas Castellanos in the house. Gonzalez did just give up 7 earned runs to the Cardinals over 5.0 IP in Milwaukee, though, so who knows? Maybe he’ll be as kind to the Cubs as he was to them.
Brewers Player: Keston Hiura has remained scorching hot, with a .304/.373/.578 (141 wRC+) over his first 292 plate appearances. He’s been less good in August (126 wRC+), but that’s still a very productive bat. He does strike out a lot, though, so maybe Yu Darvish, in particular, can pick him apart.