It took 15 innings, but Chicago was finally able to pull off a 2-1 victory over Milwaukee on Saturday to climb back into sole possession of 1st place in the Central. The Cubs and Brewers had been tied for the top spot after Milwaukee’s dominant 7-0 win in Friday’s series opener. The May 12th NL free pick is the rubber match of the series, with Chicago being decent -141 favorites at Wrigley Field.
Brewers Try to Get Back to Winning Ways
Saturday’s loss was Milwaukee’s first in their last seven games, an impressive run that had pulled the Brewers into a tie for 1st with the Cubs in the Central. Milwaukee definitely had their chances, but ultimately it was a Willson Contreras HR in the 15th that sealed the deal. Even so, the Brewers have gone 5-2 in the last 7 vs. Chicago and took 2 of 3 from the Cubs earlier this season in Milwaukee. Ryan Braun is one of the best Brewers hitters vs. Chicago starter Jon Lester, going 8-20 (.400) with three doubles.
The Brewers used 7 pitchers in Saturday’s game and 6 on Friday despite the 7-0 win. Both teams are a bit thin for relievers heading into the May 12th NL free pick which means a long outing from starter Jhoulys Chacin is in order for the Brewers to cash in at +116. That could be a tough order considering he’s pitched into the 6th just once in 5 outings. Maybe a matchup with the Cubs is good for what ails Chacin, as he has a collective 2.89 ERA vs. Chicago in 11 career starts.
Chicago Aims to Close Out Home Stand on High Note
The win Saturday was a big one for the Cubs after Friday’s 0-7 shellacking by Milwaukee. The Cubs have still only scored 2 runs in the last two games combined and needed walk-off HR’s by Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward to help take 3 of 4 from the Marlins. Another thing going against Chicago in the May 12th NL free pick is that they’ve hit just .213 vs. Chacin as a team. That being said, Anthony Rizzo is 7-22 (.318) with 3HR vs. the Brewers starter.
The Cubs should at the very least have another electric atmosphere as ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball comes to Wrigley Field. The tilt vs. the Brewers wraps up a 10-game home stand in which Chicago has gone 7-2 on thus far and climbed their way up to 1st place after a sweep of St. Louis. Another edge for the Cubs is the fact that Lester gets the start. He’s made 3 starts since returning from a short stint on the IL, allowing just 1 ER and none in the last two games (13 IP). Lester being Lester should give a nod to the ‘under’ of 7.5 being a strong play here.
May 12th NL Free Pick Betting
Sunday night’s game is a tough one to call as Milwaukee has largely gotten the best of the Cubs recently yet Lester has been so solid on the mound. Lester should have that same success Sunday and Chacin will likely be better against a Cubs offense that is pressing a bit this weekend. Game time temps below 50 degrees and an 11MPH win blowing in from left helps the low scoring affair become more likely.
NL Free Pick: Brewers / Cubs *Under* 7.5