The Chicago Cubs finished off the Milwaukee Brewers with a sweep at Wrigley on Sunday afternoon. The Brewers didn’t offer any resistance yesterday, as the Cubs flew to a 7-2 win. Yu Darvish continued his solid play with 5 innings of 1-run ball. That was one of only two runs that the Brewers would score on the day. Jason Heyward led the offense with 3 RBI’s on 5-for-2 hitting. They had more than enough offense on the board with Darvish and the bullpen dealing.
The bullpen has suddenly shown signs of life. It coincides with the Cubs getting Pedro Strop out of the pen, who was responsible for a few blown games in July. Strop can be a really good pitcher, but he just has to regain his groove for clutch time late in September. If the Cubs’ bullpen keeps playing well, they’re going to be in no rush running Strop out there to work.
Tyler Chatwood pitched 3 innings and was responsible for the other earned run. But Chatwood is a solid asset for the Cubs. He has the ability to pitch in spot starts, extended innings out of the bullpen, or appear for an out or two. Joe Maddon didn’t overthink yesterday and allowed Chatwood to pitch 3 innings. Derek Holland pitched an inning and was solid in his brief appearance.
The Cubs enter the new week fresh off a sweep in an important series against the Brewers. It was a big win at Wrigley this past weekend and the Brewers failed the test. Milwaukee fall 4 games back in the NL Central, while the Cubs edge higher on the Cardinals for a 1.5-game lead.
The Cardinals lost in Oakland, so it was a winning weekend for the Cubs all the way around. Now the Cubs play the team who just helped them out by beating the Cardinals. The A’s will be in town for a three-game series at Wrigley Field. Chris Bassitt and Kyle Hendricks are expected to get the starting nods on Monday. Head below for our free Athletics vs. Cubs pick.
Oakland Athletics vs. Chicago Cubs Pick:
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With Yu Darvish settling in and Cole Hamels back, the Cubs are heading in the right direction as far as their rotation is concerned. Darvish and Hamels pitching at an elite level changes everything for the Cubs. And then if they have Kyle Hendricks continuing to pitch well, the Cubs are going to be in business. Adding Nick Castellanos was a nice move for the offense, so I think the NL Central is theirs to lose at this point.
Hendricks will see the mound tonight for his 21st start of the season. In 20 outings thus far, Hendricks has been performing under the radar with a solid campaign under his belt already. He goes into Monday with an ERA of 3.07 and 1.12 WHIP. Hendricks has been especially dangerous at home, as he carries a 1.89 ERA and 0.89 WHIP into this matchup against the Athletics.
Most recently, Hendricks has been on fire with a 0.95 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in his last three outings. Note that he hasn’t allowed a run in his previous 12 innings of work. He also hasn’t yielded more than 2 runs since June 14th against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. So, that’s certainly what you call flying under the radar as a pitcher. In 46 at-bats the A’s are hitting .239 with 6 runs scored on Hendricks.
On the other side, Chris Bassitt heads into Wrigley Field with a 4.53 ERA and 1.21 WHIP on the road in 2019. He’s been good this season, with an overall ERA of 3.84, though a bit inconsistent. Bassitt was stellar against the Brewers in his most recent appearance, shutting them down for 3 hits and no runs in 6 innings.
However, he allowed 4 runs in Houston and also had a poor showing vs the Mariners in July. Following a great series against the Cardinals on the west coast, expect a letdown as they travel out east to Wrigley. The Cubs are hot and I think it’s best to ride them when they’re feeling it at home.