The Milwaukee Brewers left Wrigley Field on Sunday a happy bunch, as they blanked the Cubs for a final score of 4-0. The Cubs were blanked Saturday as well, so they’re going into Monday having not scored a run since Friday. They got the series started in a big way with a 7-1 win on Friday, but they’ve gone silent since then.
That was their fourth win in a row, but couldn’t make it a fifth or possibly a sixth against the Brewers. After this weekend, the Cubs fell to three games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central. St. Louis have emerged out of nowhere in the second-half to run straight past the Brewers and Cubs.
Milwaukee have a hard uphill battle for the NL Central despite looking good Saturday and Sunday. They’re behind by six games for the division and three for a wildcard. This is with Christian Yelich on their roster, who just hit his 42nd home run of the season Sunday. Needless to say, there will be some holes to fill in the offseason. Get Yelich a bit of help to compliment him and the Brewers instantly turn into a vaunted offensive machine.
As far as the Cubs are concerned, they must take advantage of a winnable two-game series against the Mariners here. The Cubs have Wednesday off and then they’re in Milwaukee next weekend. After that they stay on the road and head to San Diego for a four-game series against the Padres.
That isn’t a gimme series, and the Cubs have struggled on the road this season. In other words, take care of a bad team with the opportunity presenting itself here on Labor Day and Tuesday. Kyle Hendricks will be responsible for the Mariners’ lineup to begin the game Monday, while the Mariners will counter with rookie Justus Sheffield. Get our free Mariners vs. Cubs pick and the rest of the writeup below.
Seattle Mariners vs. Chicago Cubs Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Rookie Justus Sheffield is getting work late in the season to get some experience in as a starting pitcher. Sheffield made three appearances out of the bullpen last season and didn’t see much success in the majors. He was dinged for an ERA of 10.12 in 2.2 innings, as he didn’t last long when he had the chance with the Yankees.
Sheffield made one relief appearance in April with the Mariners and then didn’t show up again until August 23rd against the Jays in his first ever major league start. Sheffield was okay, but still allowed 7 hits and 3 earned runs in 4 innings of work. He was also responsible for 3 walks, so I think he was fortunate to get out of his debut with only 3 runs allowed.
Sheffield paid for it against the Yankees, as he got hammered for 5 earned runs in 4 innings. The Yanks dropped a 7-3 decision in that contest. In all, Sheffield has posted an ERA of 7.94, 1.94 WHIP, and .400 OBA in 11.1 innings of play. Note that this will be his first appearance on the road in 2019.
Against a Cubs team who were sleepwalking the last two days, this looks like a nice spot for them to wake up and put a beating on their opponent. Sheffield likely isn’t going to be the guy to offer much resistance. Hendricks comes into this one with an ERA of 3.47 and 3.38 ERA in his previous three outings.
He has been just about perfect at home, with a 1.79 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. That is also true against this Mariners squad, where Hendricks has held them to a .180 average and 1-run in 50 at-bats. Monday should provide a nice bounce back opportunity for the Cubs. If they don’t wake up against Sheffield and the Mariners after going scoreless the last two games, the Cubs may just want to give the division to the Cards. Everything points to an easy win for the Cubs in this one, though.