Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Milwaukee at Chi. Cubs
When: 2:20 PM ET, Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

After a dreadful start to the season series, the Milwaukee Brewers seem to have solved the Chicago Cubs, and it’s helping them stay close in the National League Central race. The Brewers will try to beat the Cubs for the fourth straight time - after dropping eight of the first nine meetings - when the division rivals wrap up a quick two-game set Wednesday in Chicago.



Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun launched two homers in Tuesday’s 7-0 win, continuing his hot streak - 11-for-25 over his past seven contests - and his strong numbers at Wrigley Field, where he is batting .338 with 17 homers in 78 career games. Lorenzo Cain also stayed hot, leading off the encounter with a homer and improving to 14-for-34 with six multi-hit games in his past seven contests. It was the Brewers’ third shutout of the Cubs this season and pulled Milwaukee within two games in the division. The Cubs haven’t been able to create much separation, alternating wins and losses over their past six games.

TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee), WGN (Chicago)



PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Junior Guerra (6-7, 3.40 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (8-9, 4.02)

Guerra is winless in five starts since July 8, but he has pitched well his last two times out. The 33-year-old Venezuelan limited San Diego to two runs over six frames in a no-decision Thursday, but he did allow a home run for a fifth consecutive start. Guerra is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA in eight career games (five starts) against the Cubs, and he has allowed two runs over 12 innings in two meetings this season.

Hendricks has endured an uneven season, but the Cubs have won five of his last six starts. The 28-year-old didn’t get a decision last time out, but he picked up his team-leading 11th quality start after holding Washington to two runs over six innings. Hendricks is 7-4 with a 2.80 ERA in 17 career starts against the Brewers, including 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two meetings in 2018.



WALK-OFFS

1. Cubs RHP Yu Darvish (triceps) threw about 55 pitches during a three-inning simulated game Tuesday and could be set for a rehab assignment next.

2. Brewers RHP Taylor Williams was activated from the disabled list Tuesday, but RHP Joakim Soria (groin) and RHP Matt Albers (hamstring) remain on the DL.

3. Cubs 2B/OF Ben Zobrist has 11 extra-base hits in his last 13 games.



PREDICTION: Cubs 6, Brewers 4


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Milwaukee 67-54 L1 36-24 31-30 18-12 19-25 20-10 10-7
Chi. Cubs 68-49 W1 37-22 31-27 15-7 26-24 17-13 10-5
Last Meeting
Milwaukee Chi. Cubs
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
6/13/18 CHC 0 MIL 1 .148 1 .466 .182 0 .462
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Milwaukee L. Cain .256 10 .732
Chi. Cubs W. Contreras .294 10 .841
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Milwaukee E. Thames 2 3 3
Chi. Cubs B. Zobrist 1 5 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Milwaukee 2.88 .165 90
Chi. Cubs 1.37 .218 98
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Milwaukee C. Yelich .312 129 .898
Chi. Cubs A. Almora Jr. .298 101 .740
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Milwaukee J. Aguilar 29 57 87
Chi. Cubs J. Baez 25 73 89
Pitching ERA Avg K
Milwaukee 3.92 .249 1042
Chi. Cubs 3.82 .265 957