The Chicago Cubs (42-36, 16-23 away) travel from California to Wisconsin to begin a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers (45-33, 23-18 home). The two teams sit atop the National League Central standings, with the Brewers owning a three-game advantage.
Monday’s first pitch of the series opener is set for 8:10 p.m. EST at American Family Field in Milwaukee, WI. The Brewers are the favored team (-140) in game one, while the run total is set at 7.5
Chicago Heads to Milwaukee on Three-Game Skid
Chicago travels to Milwaukee after losing the final three games of a four-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs are 4-6 over their last ten games and only 2-8 over their last ten road contests.
On the mound for Cubs is right-hander Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.84 ERA, 1.26 WHIP). The 31-year old hasn’t lost a start since May 9th, running his consecutive victories to eight. Hendricks has been outstanding in June, showcasing a 5-0 record with a 2.37 ERA over 30.1 innings of work.
Offensively, the Cubs scored just five runs over the final three games against LA and watched their team batting average tumble to .224. Only the Brewers have a worse team average in the NL.
Third baseman Kris Bryant has enjoyed a bounce-back season at the plate, leading the Cubs in batting average (.265) and runs scored (45) while sitting second in runs driven in (41). Javy Baez cranked his team-leading 18th home run on Sunday to give Chicago its only run of the night.
Milwaukee Runs Winning Streak to Five
The Brewers carry a five-game winning streak into the new week and have won seven of their last eight games. Milwaukee’s lost only eight games in June, helping the Brewers climb to the top of the NL Central.
Milwaukee sends Freddy Peralta (7-2, 2.11 ERA, 0.86 WHIP) to the hill to take on Chicago. Peralta has a 1.48 ERA this month, his lowest of the season. The 25-year old has faced the Cubs three times this season, pitching 15.0 innings, surrendering three earned runs on eight hits with a pair of victories.
The Brewers are the worst hitting team in baseball with the lowest team batting average amongst all major league teams at .211 but have picked it up in recent games. Injuries have riddled the Brewers lineup all season, with key pieces missing chunks at different times. However, outfielder Avisail Garcia has remained steady, leading the Brewers in home runs (14), RBIs (43), and batting average (.236).
Prediction and Pick
Two of the hottest arms in the NL go at it against a pair of the weaker offensive lineups in baseball. The Cubs have had a tough time on the road recently and are making a lengthy trip from the West Coast overnight.
Milwaukee’s offense didn’t have success against Hendricks in two starts in April, but it appears the Brewers are starting to figure out things offensively. The Brewers get another stellar pitching performance from Peralta to close out June and plate enough runs to win game one.
The Pick: Milwaukee Brewers ML