MLB’s Memorial Day schedule gets started with a showdown between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, who are set to play a doubleheader on Monday. For the first game, the Brewers are road favorites with a moneyline of -125, while the Cubs have a moneyline of +105. There is also a rather ambitious over/under of 11 runs.
The Cubs head into Memorial Day eight games under .500 and already 10 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. They put together a three-game winning streak last week but have since lost three of four, including a 20-5 loss to the Reds. In fact, they have now lost seven of their last 11 games, as things continue to move in the wrong direction for the South Siders.
Meanwhile, the Brewers are holding steady at the top of the NL Central after splitting a four-game series with the Cardinals over the weekend. Milwaukee is 12 games over .500, giving them the fourth-best record in the National League. But they can’t afford to take their foot off the gas with the Cardinals just 3.5 games back.
The Brewers will promote Ethan Small to make his big league debut in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader. He was the team’s first-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft and is currently listed as the team’s no. 7 prospect. The lefty was also rocking a 1.88 ERA at triple-A this season, so he appears ready to make his debut.
Naturally, the Brew Crew is hoping to give Small plenty of run support in his debut after scoring eight runs in Sunday’s win. However, that was the only time the Brewers scored more than four runs in their last eight games. Willy Adames and Hunter Renfroe are still on the IL, hurting their depth during a doubleheader, especially with Andrew McCutcheon, Kolten Wong, and Christian Yelich all slumping right now.
Time to Swarm
The Cubs are also bringing up a spot-starter for the first game of Monday’s doubleheader with Matt Swarmer set to make his MLB debut. The 28-year-old was originally a 19th-round pick and has mostly pitched at triple-A since 2019. However, he’s posted a solid 2.08 ERA in five starts and four relief appearances in the minors this year.
Of course, the Cubs have had a good stretch offensively lately, scoring at least five runs in seven of their last nine games. Wilson Contreras has had a strong season, while Patrick Wisdom has provided plenty of power with 10 homers this year. Frank Schwindel and Rafael Ortega have also been hot lately, giving the Cubs production from some unexpected sources.
Let the Mystery Begin
This is a tough game to predict with both starting pitchers making their MLB debut, which is a big reason why the over/under is 11 runs. But with both teams likely tired for a day game, there is a lot of value in taking the under on 11 runs, especially since the Brewers have been sluggish offensively lately.
In terms of what team will win the game, it’s close to a toss-up outside of the fact that the Brewers are in first place, and the Cubs are just 7-15 at home this year.
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