This is a matchup of two teams both looking to qualify for the postseason, who are both right there now. Neither has really excelled, but each has seen their stars carry them into a position where they will be able to stay in the fight for said playoff spots. There is even a chance both of these clubs could get in, but this series is a major key and comes during an important stretch. St. Louis has got hot, tying the Cubs for the division lead heading into Friday’s action, so whichever team loses this series likely falls behind both the Cardinals and the winner of this series.
Starting pitching is going to serve as a major key for both of these clubs, as will the closers. Craig Kimbrel has made seven saves in his 11 appearances since joining the Cubs, while Josh Hader has continued to be lights out for Milwaukee, striking out anyone in his path.
Cubs In Search Of More W’s
The good news is that the Cubs expect Kris Bryant (sore knee) to be back in the lineup, so they should be at 100% for the series-opening showdown. Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez have continued to produce at a high level for Chicago, and they are the main reason for the club being eight games over .500. They have had plenty of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, if you look at them on paper, they are capable of taking a series from any team in the NL (except for the Dodgers), and that in itself makes them a WS contender should they get to the postseason.
Kyle Hendricks will get the ball tonight, making his 19th start of the year. He has posted a 7-8 record in 108 1/3 innings of work this far, striking out 95 and walking 23 for the Cubs.
Brewers Looking To Get Hot
If the subject was Christian Yelich, we would put him as an NL MVP finalist (once again) because he has been on an absolute tear this year, belting 35 home runs and knocking in 77 runs. His ability to crush the ball has been insane, along with his .335 average and .436 on-base percentage. Mike Moustakas has crushed 26 home runs, while their new catcher, Yasmani Grandal, has knocked 19 of them out of the yard this year. They lack consistency across the lineup, but do not sleep on rookie second baseman Keston Hiura, who is batting .327 through his first 40 games.
Gio Gonzalez will be making his eighth start of the year for the Brew Crew. He has gone 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 35 innings of work (exactly five innings per outing), striking out 27 and walking 11.
Cubs Pick Up The W
Make sure you bet on the Cubs, who will help get Kyle Hendricks his eighth W of the season!
Free Pick: Cubs
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