The Milwaukee Brewers will give it another go at Wrigley Field on Sunday. They will be looking to avoid a sweep in Chicago against the Cubs. The Brewers have losses of 6-2 and 4-1 heading into Sunday afternoon. On Saturday, the Cubs put the Brewers away with a couple of runs in the bottom of the 8th. Nick Castellanos got things going with a single and the Cubs were able to add some insurance runs to their 2-1 lead.
The star of the day was Cole Hamels, who was making his first appearance in over a month. Hamels didn’t miss a beat and it never looked like he was off with an oblique injury. Great sign for the Cubs. Bad sign for the Brewers with their offense dormant again Saturday.
Milwaukee have one of the more hot and cold offenses in the majors. They have a couple of heavy bats that can do damage, but if no one else is reaching base, a bunch of Christian Yelich solo bombs aren’t hurting much. Ryan Braun was the only Brewer responsible for a run yesterday, as he knocked in a runner on a single.
That was the only offense for the Brewers, though. Hamels went 5 strong innings and gave up just the 1 run and 4 hits. Joe Maddon wasn’t going to overwork him just coming off the IL, so he got pulled earlier than he usually would have. The Cubs advanced to 59-51 with the win, as they continue to stay in the mix for the NL Central crown.
Yu Darvish will spearhead the Cubs latest effort on Sunday against the Brewers in the series finale. He’s been pitching better lately, so Darvish and Hamels pitching to their full potential down the stretch would go a long way. The Brewers will send out first-year starter Adrian Houser to the bump. Head below for our free Brewers vs. Cubs pick.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs Pick:
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The Nick Castellanos deal didn’t garner the most attention media wise, but it’s a big deal for the Cubs. He is a contact hitter who also has a bit of pop in his bat. If he isn’t playing at Comerica Park throughout his career, he more than likely has more home runs that he does. Castellanos has 11 home runs while hitting .275 in 2019.
It was a luxury to bring him in with talent already in the lineup. Darvish has been settling in recently with some solid starts. He holds an ERA of 3.00 and 0.83 WHIP in his previous three outings. Darvish hasn’t surrendered more than 2 runs in three of his last four outings. That’s the Darvish the Cubs were looking for when they acquired him.
Darvish has been a lightning rod against the Brewers in his career. They haven’t seemed to figure him out yet, even when he has gone through stretches struggling. The Brewers are hitting .190 with just 6 runs scored in 84 at-bats against Darvish. In his most recent showing against Milwaukee, he was dominant across 6 innings of work. Darvish allowed no earned runs and just 3 hits in a 3-2 win. Prior to that, he was sharp again with 1 earned run and 2 hits allowed in 6 innings in a 5-2 victory.
The Cubs don’t have much of a history against Houser. They’ve scored 2 runs on him in only 21 at-bats. Kris Bryant is responsible for the sole deep ball against him. In any case, Houser has been off the mark on the road, with a 4.41 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and .342 OBA in 34.2 innings.
He was not good in July, as he posted an ERA of 5.40 in 20 innings. In his previous three games as a starting pitcher, note that he’s mainly been a reliever, Houser has allowed 10 earned runs in 15 innings. The Cubs look like the play for the sweep on Sunday at Wrigley.