Game time: 2:20 p.m. ET
Venue: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Where to watch: Bally Sports Wisconsin, Marquee Sports Network
Season-to-date (entering Wednesday)
Brewers: 68-46 (1st place, NL Central)
Cubs: 52-63 (4th place, NL Central)
Kolten Wong (L) 2B
Christian Yelich (L) LF
Willy Adames (R) SS
Eduardo Escobar (S) 3B
Omar Narvaez (L) C
Avisail Garcia (R) RF
Rowdy Tellez (L) 1B
Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
Brandon Woodruff (R) P
Rafael Ortega (L) CF
Willson Contreras (R) C
Ian Happ (S) LF
Frank Schwindel (R) 1B
Matt Duffy (R) 3B
Greg Deichmann (L) RF
David Bote (R) 2B
Andrew Romine (S) SS
Kyle Hendricks (R) P
Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Brewers -195, Cubs +165
Recent form (entering Wednesday)
Brewers: Won four of last six
Cubs: Six straight losses
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Brewers - Cubs preview
You’d think the Chicago Cubs would fall off past the trade deadline. You didn’t think it’d be this bad.
And now you have the Milwaukee Brewers rag-dolling them around in Wrigley Field like it’s no big deal. That World Series win seems like ages ago.
The Brewers and Cubs wrap up a four-game series Thursday that has been indicative of the level of play between the two National League Central rivals. The Brewers keep winning and stretching out the leg room atop the division from the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs keep losing and make all of the North Side just praying to end everything. It was such a better time in June.
Then they realize it’s only August and the world doesn’t take kind to such craziness.
But that’s what happens when the Cubs go in full rebuild mode. Pitchers not named Kyle Hendricks have been bad; Wilson Contreras is the only good power hitter remaining, and the effects of a six-game losing streak are rearing its ugly head.
Instead, Kris Bryant is hitting home runs for the San Francisco Giants now. Anthony Rizzo, albeit dealing with COVID, is a difference maker for the New York Yankees. Javier Baez is now on a downward spiral with the New York Mets, but that’s another story for another day.
Entering Wednesday, the Brewers took the first two games of the series in a Tuesday doubleheader, winning 4-2 and then 6-3 in the nightcap. Not a bad start for the NL Central leaders while starting on a 10-game road trip. Following the Cubs, the Brewers will be in PNC Park for a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This matchup has been as one-sided as can be. Milwaukee entered Wednesday 11-3 against the Cubs, having won the last seven. Would you believe that stretch has the Cubs leading the all-time series, 197-196?
There’s only so much hope we can give the Cubs while trends keep going down. When you have a regular season the way they have, it ain’t easy like Sunday morning anymore.
Brandon Woodruff is expected to be the starter for the Brewers, while the Cubs haven’t officially announced Hendricks taking the mound, but all signs point to him getting the call. Either way, good luck trying to slow down Milwaukee’s lineup with the way that batting average and slugging work have trended upward.
MLB odds are pretty cut-and-dry. You can tell, especially in these sorts of games, how things will pan out. Milwaukee, for example, is 21-6 (+14.8 units) against the money line in road contests against division opponents this year. The way Chicago has been rolling, the Cubs odds don’t look entirely well to this point.
Woodruff is 2-1 this seasons against the Cubs, throwing a 2.83 ERA and WHIP of 0.926. His last two starts against the Cubs have seen him throw a combined six hits with 16 strikeouts. His team is 7-3 against the Cubs, with the under going 8-2. In his last outing, he allowed one earned run in six innings on June 29.
The last time Hendricks faced the Brewers, he allowed four runs in six innings on seven hits. The Brewers are capable of forcing the Cubs to go to their bullpen early and often. The more relief appearances they see, the better it looks for the Brew Crew.
As we wrap up this preview, we pardon this to inform you that at the time of publishing, the Brewers scored seven runs on eight hits, off Jake Arrieta, in the first inning on Wednesday. Corbin Burnes didn’t even throw a pitch yet. If the Cubs come back to win, take the Cubs with every possible money line you can get before first pitch. Also, welcome back, Christian Yelich. Brewers win, under cashes.
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