On the heels of a four-game losing streak, things don’t get any easier for the recently dismantled Chicago Cubs when they face the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night. The Brewers are the heavy favorites on the road with a -220 moneyline. Meanwhile, Chicago’s moneyline is listed at +180 for the start of a four-game series at Wrigley Field.
Rather predictably, the Cubs have gone downhill since trading away several key players at the trade deadline. They’ve lost four straight series, dating back to before the deadline, and were swept by the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley over the weekend. They are now nine games under .500 and 14.5 games behind Milwaukee in the standings.
As for the Brewers, they’ve seen their comfortable lead in the NL Central drop to just five games over the Cincinnati Reds. This is mostly because Cincinnati is red hot at the moment. But the Brewers also lost back-to-back home games against the San Francisco Giants over the weekend and have now lost three of their last five, giving the Reds the opportunity to close the gap.
Right Said Fred
Freddy Peralta will get a chance to right the ship for the Milwaukee Brewers when he takes the mound on Monday. Like most of Milwaukee’s rotation, Peralta has been excellent this season, going 8-3 with a 2.21 ERA. There are just three times in which Peralta has allowed more than two runs in one of his starts and just on occasion when he’s allowed more than three runs.
In fairness, the Cubs haven’t become completely inept offensively after trading away Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez. They have averaged four runs per game since the calendar flipped to August, although they were shut out on Saturday and managed just three runs on Sunday. Rafael Ortega has excelled in his new role, while Frank Schwindel has been a pleasant surprise, although there are still weaknesses in the Chicago lineup.
The Mill Man
Even after the trade deadline, the Chicago Cubs‘ rotation has remained intact, meaning Alec Mills is scheduled to make the start on Monday. In 10 starts and 12 relief appearances this season, Mills has gone 5-4 with a 4.41 ERA. Mills has been far more comfortable as a starter, posting a 3.62 ERA in 10 starts, including a win in his last start.
But the Brewers aren’t the same lackluster offensive team they were early in the season. They’ve averaged 4.5 runs per game over their last six games and have managed to find some semblance of consistency. The addition of Eduardo Escobar at the trade deadline has made an impact, while Willy Adames, Rowdy Tellez, and Avisail Garcia are also doing plenty of damage in the middle of the lineup.
Even if there isn’t much financial upside to picking the Brewers, the Cubs have too narrow of a path to victory in this game. Milwaukee has the better lineup, while Peralta has been too consistent this year to think the Cubs will do much against him. Bet on the Milwaukee Brewers to get the win on Monday.
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