The MLB is set up with a total of fifteen games on the board for Friday night. One of the top matchups on July 26 will be between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers who are both competing for the top spot in the NL Central. This should help lead to another good series between the two teams. The first pitch for this game will be thrown around 8:10 PM Eastern time on Friday night.
The Cubs are tied for the top spot of the NL Central with a record of 55-47. Chicago is tied up with the St. Louis Cardinals for the top spot of their division, so they could use a big series win against the Milwaukee Brewers to try and regain the sole top spot in the division. The Cubs have lost three of their last four games, so they will look try and build a winning streak starting on Friday night.
Milwaukee is in third place of the NL Central, as they have put up a record of 54-50 throughout this season. The Brewers are only two games behind the Cardinals and the Cubs, so a series win at home here would be huge. Milwaukee has been able to win six of their last nine games. The Brewers will look to finish out their home stand with a strong series against Chicago.
Both the Cubs and the Brewers had Thursday night off, which should help them be well-rested for this series. These two teams are near the top of their division with St. Louis, which means that these games have big implications. Chicago and Milwaukee will look to try and get the edge over each other in this series to try and take the top spot in the division.
The first series between these two teams was between April 5-7 in Milwaukee. In the first matchup, five different Brewers hit home runs, while the Cubs had three home runs of their own as Milwaukee went on to win 13-10. Chicago rode a seven-run eighth inning to a 14-8 win in the second game of the series. Christian Yelich had three RBI’s in the final game of this series, including a two-run homer. Zach Davies got the win as he allowed five hits and two runs in route to a 4-2 win for the Brewers.
The second series shifted to Chicago on May 10-12. The Brewers rode Gio Gonzalez’s performance to a win as he allowed two hits and no runs in his start. Milwaukee finished with a 7-0 win in the first game. The second game was a great one as Willson Contreras hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the fifteenth as the Cubs won 2-1. Jon Lester allowed nine hits and one run in the final game as Chicago won again 4-1.
These two teams have gone 3-3 against each other this season. I believe that this will be another good series as the two teams look to gain the edge on each other. These teams have seen both sides of the spectrum with high scoring games and lower-scoring ones. It should be a good game either way as these two managers look to outduel each other on Friday night.
Javier Baez has had a solid season so far, putting up 119 hits, 25 home runs and 68 RBI’s. Kris Bryant has 108 hits, 21 home runs and an OPS of .967. Anthony Rizzo has 104 hits, 20 homers and 69 RBI’s this season. Kyle Schwarber has earned 77 hits and 22 home runs, while Jason Heyward, Willson Contreras, and Albert Almora all have double-digit home runs this season.
Christian Yelich is building off of last season’s MVP performance again this season. Yelich has earned 118 hits, 35 home runs, 77 RBI’s and an OPS of 1.143. Lorenzo Cain has been doing well, putting up 100 hits and 35 RBI’s. Mike Moustakas has 98 hits, 26 home runs and 60 RBI’s. Ryan Braun has 87 hits, 15 home runs and 48 RBI’s, while Yasmani Grandal has 83 hits, 19 homers and 54 RBI’s. Eric Thames, Orlando Arcia, and Keston Hiura all have double-digit home runs as well.
Both teams have solid batting lineups. The Cubs have a better depth lineup, but with Yelich and Moustakas, the Brewers can compete with anyone. Chicago has struggled at limiting Yelich in previous games this season and Yelich will look to capitalize on the Cubs pitching again on Friday night. Chicago will need their depth to play a big role if they want to pull off a win on the road.
Chicago will have Kyle Hendricks start on the mound for them on Friday night. Hendricks has earned a record of 7-8 through eighteen starts this season. He has an ERA of 3.41 and a WHIP of 1.145 this season. Hendricks’ last start came against the San Diego Padres, where he allowed four hits and two runs as the Cubs lost 5-1.
Gio Gonzalez will start for the Brewers in Friday night’s tilt. Gonzalez has put up an ERA of 3.60 and a WHIP of 1.257 through seven starts this season. In those starts, he has put up a record of 2-1. Gonzalez’s last start came on July 20 and it was his first start since May 27. He allowed five hits and three runs through four innings.
Milwaukee saw Gonzalez’s first start in a while come to a sudden end against the Arizona Diamondbacks as he only pitched four innings. The Brewers will hope he can go a bit longer than that against the Cubs. Chicago has seen an average season from Hendricks, whose numbers are slightly better than Gonzalez this season. This leaves the battle on the mound pretty even for Friday night.
The Cubs have been better than the Brewers so far this season by only a few games. I believe that Chicago will increase that lead with a big win on Friday night. The Cubs have a good depth lineup that could attack a recently healthy Gonzalez a lot. If Hendricks can put up a solid night, I believe that he will lead Chicago to a big win.
BetOnline has the Cubs listed as a -107 against the money line. This gives a tiny edge to Chicago, which still seems like a good line to me. With Gonzalez only pitching four innings a few nights ago, he could struggle to go a while against the Cubs lineup. If Chicago can gain an early lead, they could lean on their bullpen to give them the edge. I like the Cubs to take the first game of this series on the road.