Series Preview: Cubs at Brewers, September 17 - September 19, 2021

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Series Preview: Cubs at Brewers, September 17 – September 19, 2021

Chicago Cubs

Well, the Cubs can’t really play spoiler for the Brewers, who have a magic number of 5 to clinch the NL Central here at the end of September (plus a fairly unrealistic shot to be the No. 1 seed in the National League), but … actually I don’t have an end to that thought. I’m just sharing the information. The more relevant standings to follow, I suspect, are the reverse standings, for which the Cubs have just a half-game lead over the Royals for the 8th pick in the draft and a two-game deficit behind the Twins for the 7th pick.

After this Brewers series, the Cubs will actually head to Minnesota to face the Twins, so that race is still alive. Banking at least two losses against Milwaukee this weekend, then, would be wise.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (66-81) dropped the final two games in Philadelphia and are 4-6 in their last ten. The Milwaukee Brewers (89-57) are one game away from 90 wins, taking 7 of their last ten, though they were facing some weak competition over that stretch.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Friday, September 17th at 7:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Saturday, September 18th at 6:15 CT on FOX, 670 The Score
•   Sunday, September 19th at 1:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Zach Davies (R) vs. Adrian Houser (R)
Game 2: Justin Steele (L) vs. Corbin Burnes (R)
Game 3: Adrian Sampson (R) vs. Eric Lauer (L)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Frank Schwindel
•   2B – Matt Duffy/David Bote
•   3B – Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Sergio Alcantara
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Rafael Ortega
•   RF – Alfonso Rivas

Unavailable: Jason Heyward, Nico Hoerner, Michael Hermosillo, Jonathan Holder, Nick Madrigal, Jose Lobaton, P.J. Higgins, Kohl Stewart, Brad Wieck

Milwaukee Brewers

•   C – Omar Narváez
•   1B – Dan Vogelbach
•   2B – Kolten Wong
•   3B – Eduardo Escobar
•   SS – Luis Urías
•   LF – Christian Yelich
•   CF – Lorenzo Cain
•   RF – Jace Peterson/Avisaíl García

Unavailable: Tyrone Taylor, Brett Anderson, Willy Adames, Rowdy Tellez, Mark Mathias, John Axford, Angel Perdomo, John Curtiss, Justin Topa

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -119
Brewers: +133

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.32
Brewers: 4.62

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 5.13
Brewers: 3.71

The difference between the Cubs and Brewers run differential is 252 runs. I just … wow.

Keep An Eye Out For …

For however hot the Brewers pitching staff has been, their offense has been cold. And at the heart of that weakness is Christian Yelich, who is just not having a great season at the plate: .249/.360/.374 (101 wRC+). Yelich comes into this series with just 3 hits and 1 walk over his last six games (27 plate appearances), with a ton of grounders pulled and very little hard contact.

Frank Schwindel will cool off at some point, but it hasn’t happened yet. He’s currently got a six-game hitting streak and it’s not a light one: .423/.464/.769 (226 wRC+), with three 2Bs and 2 HRs … and a 3.6% strikeout rate. Dude is just smashing.

Author: Michael Cerami

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