It’s development time for Chicago as they head into the August 9th Brewers at Cubs matchup. Wins no longer really seem to be a viable option for the North Siders, who come into Monday’s tilt with Milwaukee just being swept at home by the White Sox. The Brewers are -200 favorites in this one.
Milwaukee on the other hand seems destined for the postseason, holding a 5 game lead in the NL Central. The Brewers have just dropped two straight at home to the Giants though, and 2nd place Cincinnati is coming hard on a 5-game win streak. Milwaukee essentially needs to take care of business over the lowly Cubs the next four days at Wrigley Field.
Milwaukee Needs a Win
The Brewers lead is down to 5 games, and they are nowhere near ready to call a division title a wrap. The Reds are on a roll and Milwaukee didn’t do themselves any favors by going just 3-3 on a recent 6-game home stand. The good news is that the Brewers are a solid 34-19 on the road this season, and have won five straight vs. the Cubs.
Milwaukee can put up some runs in away games, with the over going 5-0-2 in their last 7. The Brewers are also 23-8 in their last 31 road tilts, but their bats really weren’t working on the recent home stand. Christian Yelich is 0-4 in two games since returning from the COVID list, and Willy Adames is the only Brewers regular hitting better than .300 over the past week. Does that give Chicago some value at +165 in the August 9th Brewers at Cubs matchup?
Craig Counsell is hoping for a long outing from Freddy Peralta (8-3, 2.21 ERA) as the Brewers bullpen is incredibly thin with Josh Hader, Hunter Strickland, Jake Cousins, and Jandel Gustave all on the COVID list. A strong showing shouldn’t be too much to ask from Peralta, who has allowed 2 ER or less in 9 of his last 10 starts.
Cubs Trying to Work Through Roster Overhaul
The Cubs have dropped four straight, suffering an embarrassing sweep at home over the weekend against their crosstown rivals the White Sox. Chicago has now dropped 10 of 12, which they probably actually don’t mind because better draft position and developing prospects is the main goal for the last 50+ games of the season.
Chicago really has trotted out a Triple A roster at best after the recent trades of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and others. The Cubs managed just 6 hits on Sunday Night Baseball in a 9-3 loss to the White Sox as +163 underdogs. Chicago’s current active roster is just 5-34 (.147) vs. Peralta and are going to be very overwhelmed by the Brewers starter on Monday night.
Zach Davies allowed 5 White Sox runs on his first 19 pitches of the game on Sunday so Alec Mills (5-4, 4.41 ERA) doesn’t have a huge act to follow on Sunday night. Mills has been solid lately with 2 ER or less allowed in 3 of his last 4 starts, and it doesn’t hurt that the Brewers offense is reaching a bit over the past week. Mills gave up 2 ER over 4.0 IP in his only start vs. Milwaukee this year, but that was also back in April. Mills also has four relief appearances vs. the Brewers this season.
Free August 9th Brewers at Cubs Pick
The Brewers have owned the Cubs this season and no reason to think things turn out otherwise on Monday night at Wrigley Field. This crowd may actually be more pro-Milwaukee as fans make the 90 minute drive down I-94.
Brewers 7 – Cubs 2
Free Pick: Brewers -1.5 (-120)