The Chicago Cubs welcome the Milwaukee Brewers to Wrigley Field on Thursday night. The contest begins at 7:05 central. The Cubs have started out their season at 11-10, not exactly the pace they expected. Meanwhile, Milwaukee is off to a blazing start at 15-9, good enough for first place in the National League central division. Chase Anderson takes the hill for Milwaukee. Anderson is 2-1 on the season, with a decent 3.25 ERA. On the other side, Kyle Hendricks will get the call for the Cubs. Hendricks is an even 1-1 on the season, with a disappointing 4.09 ERA. The Chicago Cubs are -160 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
Cubs: Hendricks looks to get back on track.
If Kyle Hendricks was interviewed before this season and asked where his record would stand after 4 starts, he would likely expect to have at least 2 wins. A 1-1 start isn’t exactly something that a major league pitcher aspires to accomplish, let alone a good pitcher like Hendricks. His first start, against the Marlins, saw him give up only 4 hits and 1 run. Since then, he has given up a combined 9 runs through the past 3 starts. Hendricks will have to bounce back in a big way to shut down the Brewers.
As far as hitting goes, the Cubs have 8 position players batting .250 or above. Hendricks should be able to trust his offense to provide at least a couple runs to support his effort. In addition to this, it is looking more and more likely that Kris Bryant could be returning for the Thursday showdown.
Brewers: Anderson looks to be returning to form
Chase Anderson began the season with some issues involving reduced velocity. He began the season by pitching an absolute gem: he went 6 innings while giving up only 1 hit and 0 runs. Since that start, his stuff has been less impressive: he has given up 10 runs through his last 4 starts. Through his second start, Anderson’s fastball did not have the velocity that he normally has.
At the plate, the Brewers have impressed. Six regularly played position players are hitting .250 or above, including Jesus Aguilar, who is hitting an incredible .421 through 22 appearances this season. They have ride this great hitting to a 16 win start. Expect more of the same against the shaky Hendricks.
Cubs Outslug Brewers
It’s been warm in Illinois and, although it looks to be a bit cooler on Thursday night, the bats will remain hot. In a game where Kris Bryant is making his anticipated return, look for him to start off with a bang against the division rivals. This Cubs team has playoff experience, and they have to keep that mindset every time they are playing a hot division rival like the Brewers. Not to mention their own record is barely on the right side of .500. I think that experience in pressure situations will win, and propel the Cubs to the winning end of a, barring a great pitching performance from either pitcher, slugfest. Take the Chicago Cubs -160 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
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