By: Hector Duran (@hector_duran22)
Moneyline: CHC (+115); MIL (-135)
Run Line: CHC +1.5 (-165); MIL -1.5 (+145)
Total: 8; Over (-115); Under (-105)
First Pitch: 6:40pm CST; American Family Field; Milwaukee, WI
After squaring up last week at Wrigley for 3 games, the battle of I-94 will move north as the Brewers host the Cubs for 3 games. Milwaukee is coming off taking 2 out of 3 against the Cardinals thanks to some timely pitching and 18 runs in the last two games while the Cubs are looking to bounce back after dropping 2 of 3 to the Pirates. In game 1 of this series, we will see Abdert Alzolay and Freddy Peralta who just faced off each other last Tuesday with the Brewers getting the upper hand and winning 4-0 where the Cubs were able to muster up only 1 hit.
Chicago Cubs (4-5)
The second time through the rotation will conclude tonight when Adbert Alzolay gets the ball for the Cubs. In his last start, he was defeated by these very same Brewers after lasting 5.0 innings and allowing all four of the runs in the game. So far, Alzolay has an ERA of 7.20 and WHIP of 1.20 but the ERA is a bit inflated since he’s only made the one start. It wasn’t a terrible outing though as he fell victim to the longball twice. One of the homers was a three run bomb from Travis Shaw in the first inning and there was a runner on via a walk. You can live with a solo shot here or there, but need to keep men off of the basepaths when giving up the longball.
It wouldn’t have mattered anyways as the Cubs’ sticks were inefficient that night and that’s been the story for at least the last calendar year. David Ross’ squad ranks dead last in team batting average (.167) and OBP (.265) and have scored the 27th lowest amount of runs (26). Pretty much everyone needs to step it up. Tony Rizzo is only hitting .133, David Bote is at .100, and Kris Bryant is averaging .233.
Milwaukee Brewers (5-4)
For the Brewers, it will be Freddy Peralta and he was brilliant in his last start going 5 scoreless innings against the Cubs. He only allowed one hit but he issued four free passes. He fanned eight in the 91 pitch effort before turning it over to Brent Suter for 3 hitless innings.
On offense, they are dealing with some injuries as Kolten Wong is on the IL, and both Christian Yelich and Travis Shaw are both day-to-day so the depth of this roster will be slightly tested. Although both guys did play yesterday, I think the skipper Craig Counsell gives them the night off with the lefty Alzolay on the mound. Should both of these guys get the night off, they will lose some offensive firepower as Shaw leads the team with 10 RBI and collected 5 hits and 4 RBI in his weekend series with the Cardinals.
Analysis & Best Bet
After digging into the numbers a bit more, both offenses have struggled. Milwaukee was able to raise their numbers a little bit thanks for their offensive output this weekend against the Cardinals, but they are still batting .202 as a team with an OBP of .285. Given that Milwaukee will most likely be without their 2 best offensive players, there may not be some runs generated for the crew. I am going to be taking under 8 runs at -115.
We all know about the Cubs’ struggles offensively and Peralta pitched well against them in his last start so I would expect the same tonight. Overall the Cubs have been scuffling on offense all season and there are really no signs of this team turning it around.