The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers will renew their growing rivalry this week at Wrigley Field. The Brewers stormed into Chicago on Wednesday and won game 1 of the series by a score of 7-0. Milwaukee blasted four homers in the game, including a pair of two-run homers by Ryan Braun.
The Cubs have dominated the season series against Milwaukee, winning 8 of the first 12 games. Tuesday’s victory was the first victory in Wrigley Field by the Brewers this season. With the win, the Brewers climbed to just two games back of the Cubs atop the National League Central Division. On Wednesday the Cubs are -138 against the Brewers.
Brewers Bullpen Leaky of Late
One of the biggest strengths for the Brewers this season was their bullpen, but they have struggled of late. Closer Corey Knebel walked three consecutive batters in a blown save last week, and flamethrower Josh Hader hasn’t been as dominant. Manager Craig Counsell has removed Knebel from the closer’s role and will play the matchups for the foreseeable future.
Newcomers Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich has led the Brewers offense in 2018. Yelich leads the team with a .310 batting average and has collected 130 hits on the season. Cain has been great for the Brewers in the leadoff spot, and blasted a solo homer to lead off the game on Tuesday. Milwaukee can score some runs and they need to continue that trend on Wednesday.
Hendricks Makes Start For Cubs
Kyle Hendricks has gone from a potential Cy Young Award winner to an inconsistent starter this season. The Cubs need Hendricks to return to his top form if they are going to hold off the Brewers in the Central Division. Hendricks is 1-1 against the Brewers this season, with his win being a 7 inning shutout performance in April.
Javier Baez continues to lead the Cubs offense in several categories, but he has been slumping of late. The All-Star second baseman did collect a hit on Tuesday so maybe he is showing signs of breaking out. Baez has hit 25 home runs and driven in a league-leading 89 runs for the Cubs this season. The Cubs offense will look to bounce back after getting shut out on Tuesday.
Hendricks, Cubs Win Game 2
The Cubs and Brewers still have seven games against each other this season. The National League Central crown will likely come down to these contests. The Brewers took a huge step with a series-opening win on Tuesday afternoon. Milwaukee took advantage of friendly hitting conditions to belt four long home runs in the series opener.
The Cubs simply must find offense if they are going to hold on to their lead in the NL Central. The Cubs offense has bailed out a shaky rotation all season long, but haven’t done it consistently in the second half of the season. Look for the Cubs to be sharp on Wednesday afternoon and earn a series sweep against the Brewers. Bet the Cubs -138 over Milwaukee in this game.
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