Milwaukee had a great opportunity ahead of them with a 3-game series against the Cubs and so far they’ve made the most of it. The Brewers have won two in a row over Chicago to close the gap in the NL Central to 3 games. Craig Counsell’s team can dwindle that down to 2 with a win in the September 5th NL free pick. Oddsmakers are calling this one a virtual toss up (CHI -102, MIL -108) and it should be a good one from Miller Park Wednesday night.
How Do the Cubs Respond From Two Devastating Defeats
Chicago is lacking in momentum right now mostly because of the last two nights in Milwaukee. The Cubs blew Monday’s game 3-4 after giving up runs in both the 8th and 9th inning. Last night Chicago was utterly humiliated 1-11 as the bullpen was exploited once again. Milwaukee scored 8 runs from the 6th inning on last night to get the W. Therefore Chicago starter Jose Quintana (11-9, 4.21 ERA) needs a good long outing to ease some pressure from his relievers. The lefty has had success against Milwaukee this year, going 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA. Brewers batters have hit just .217 against the Cubs starter in 254 AB which bodes well for the Cubs in the September 5th NL free pick.
Chicago’s offense has gone into a funk the first two games in Milwaukee. This is a team that scored 16 runs over the weekend in Philadelphia but being in the midst of an 11-game road swing may be starting to take its toll on the Cubs lineup. Anthony Rizzo continues to stay hot with a HR Monday night but the Cubs managed just 5 hits last night. Rizzo also has 2 HR in 16 AB in his career against tonight’s Milwaukee starter. Daniel Murphy and Javy Baez are also hitting over .300 against Jhoulys Chacin so it could be a big night for the Cubs offense. The total is set at 9.
Milwaukee Riding High
Cole Hamels’ comments about Miller Park being “Wrigley North” seemed to have lit a fire under Brewers bats who last night scored 11 runs on 11 hits. Christian Yelich had another big night with 2 RBI after driving in the winning run on Monday. Yelich now has 13 RBI in his last 7 games. Orlando Arcacia had 3 hits last night, but is 0-13 in his career vs. Quintana. Lorenzo Cain has also set the table for Milwaukee lately with a .375 average over the past 7 days. He’s also one of the few Brewers with success against Quintana, posting a .301 average in 73 AB. Mike Moustakas also has hit 3HR vs. the Chicago starter in 43 AB.
It’s up to Jhoulys Chacin (14-5, 3.53 ERA) to continue to keep the Cubs offense in check in the September 5th NL free pick. He’s on a remarkable run of allowing 1ER or less in 6 of his last 9 starts. One of those outings came on August 14th vs. these Cubs where Chacin pitched 7 shutout innings while striking out 10 Chicago batters.
September 5th NL Free Pick Betting
The Cubs have dropped 4 straight Quintana road starts but do have an impressive 9-2 record in their last 11. The Brewers have won 6 of their last 7 and that includes 4 straight vs. a LH starter. Therefore there’s value on both teams tonight, but you have to side with the home team. Milwaukee is playing with great momentum and can see the NL Central within their grasp. Chicago may be starting to press a bit, and playing in their 7th straight road game can’t help them in this contest.
NL Free Pick: Milwaukee Brewers -108