The Milwaukee Brewers already have exceeded last year’s win total, and they’ve blown away expectations. Now they look to continue closing the gap in the National League Central when they play the finale of a three-game road series against the division-leading Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
The Brewers have refused to fade from the NL Central race, and they pulled within three games of the Cubs with a 15-2 rout Saturday after winning 2-0 in Friday’s series opener. After Sunday’s finale, the rivals meet for four more games in Milwaukee from Sept. 21-24. ”Every game now in September is magnified,” Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward told reporters. “That’s what you want. That’s what you play for.” The Cubs have lost three straight home games for the first time since Aug. 2-4 and have dropped five of their last seven overall.
TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), ABC 7 (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Zach Davies (16-8, 3.77 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 3.29)
Davies has posted a 1.11 ERA over his last five starts, allowing two or fewer runs in each outing. The 24-year-old has posted quality starts in eight of his last 10 outings. Davies is 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA in eight starts against the Cubs, and he has lost two of three meetings this season.
Hendricks is 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in nine starts since coming off the disabled list on July 24. The 27-year-old has recorded five straight quality starts after allowing two runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Hendricks is 6-3 with a 2.74 ERA in 13 starts against the Brewers.
1. Cubs 3B Kris Bryant, who has reached base in 34 consecutive starts, is 9-for-22 with two doubles, a triple, and a homer against Davies.
2. Brewers 3B Hernan Perez homered and drove in five runs Saturday, but he is 2-for-13 against Hendricks.
3. The season series is tied 7-7, but the Brewers have outscored the Cubs 74-65.
PREDICTION: Cubs 4, Brewers 3