The Chicago Cubs head to Milwaukee after taking two of three over the Pirates over the week. Sunday was pretty bloody for the Cubs, though, as they were hammered in the series finale by a score of 7-1. Nevertheless, that was only their first loss in the last five games, and second loss in the last ten. It wasn’t the prettiest day for the Cubs on Sunday, but their latest positive spurt puts them in a near deadlock with the Milwaukee Brewers for 1st in the Central. As we go into the start of the new week, the Brewers have a small edge on the Cubs by 0.5 games. That’s going to change as we go through the season, with the Cubs and Brewers likely trading the top spot.
The Brewers have had a nice start, as they head into this series with a record of 39-26. I don’t believe this is a fluke start for Milwaukee. The Cubs are going to have them bugging them all season long, they likely aren’t going anywhere. With the acquisition of Lorenzo Cain in the offseason, the Brewers were instantly legitimatized. However, Cain hasn’t been the focal point of Brewers. He is doing fine hitting .281 with 7 deep balls, but the real catalyst has been their bullpen.
It takes a bullpen to go far, and this is why I don’t see the Brewers pulling a disappearing act anytime soon. The Brewers’ offense rang up the scoreboard on the Phillies on Friday and Saturday, putting 12 runs up each night. Yesterday went a little differently, as they were on the losing end of a 4-3 final. Jose Quintana and Junior Guerra will square off on Monday for the Cubs and Brewers. Every meeting the rest of the year between these two is going to be especially important. Get the rest of our writeup and free Cubs vs. Brewers pick below.
Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers Pick
Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.20 ERA) vs. Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.83 ERA)
The pitching has helped the Brewers out to their hot start, but the offense got in on the fun and exploded for 24 runs over two days of action. The Brewers have been waiting for the offense to catch up to the pitching and we’ll see if it can continue. It was probably expected for them to come down to earth a bit on Sunday, though. After a steep climb like that, there’s going to be some regression. Guerra has been helpful for the Brewers in the rotation. In his last ten outings, he’s allowed more than 3 runs per start just a couple of times. In his last three starts, Guerra has posted an ERA of 2.50 and 0.94 WHIP.
Note that the Cubs are hitting just .149 against Guerra in 67 at-bats. Only 10 hits in 67 attempts at the plate. That includes just 1 home run surrendered to Kyle Schwarber. Guerra is backed up by a bullpen that is 1st in the majors with an ERA of 2.54. The Cubs aren’t far behind, though, with an ERA of 2.60 out of the bullpen it puts them at 3rd in the major leagues.
Quintana will step up for the Cubs in the starting role this evening. The Brewers are hitting just .225 against lefties, so he already has something going for him here. He is also coming off a dominant performance against the Brewers in April. Quintana allowed no runs and 2 hits across 7 innings of work. In 177 at-bats, the Brewers are hitting .198 with 0 deep balls against Quintana. I was expecting a total of 8 here, so I will gladly take a piece of the UNDER at 8.5.