Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers Pick 9/5/19
Chicago Cubs (75-63) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (71-67)
When: 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5
Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee
Moneyline: CHC -120/MIL +110 (5Dimes)
Runline: Cubs -1.5/Brewers +1.5
Starting Pitchers: Jose Quintana (12-8, 3.90 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) vs. Chase Anderson (6-4, 4.58 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
For the Brewers, there is no other option here than to win at least three out of four. If Milwaukee takes a split, their wild card hopes would be all but over because they’d be left with no real way to gain ground and a rough schedule awaiting them. The Cubs, meanwhile, have a soft finish and can afford to absorb a blow here or there as long as they come out no worse than even overall. A split in this series would be exactly what Chicago needs, as it would keep them in line for a wild card while keeping the Brewers from gaining any ground.
Milwaukee has found out the hard way that all offense, all the time isn’t an effective way to win if your goal is to make the playoffs. In truth, it’s amazing that Milwaukee has even managed to get to this point, because of the 15 teams that have given up more runs than they’ve scored, 13 of them have a losing record. The only exceptions are the Phillies, who have given up seven more than they’ve scored, and the Brewers, who have a run differential of minus-38.
As has been the case for most teams in the National League this year, Milwaukee’s problems stem from the fact that it cannot trust the bullpen to get the job done. Starter Chase Anderson is usually asked to give Milwaukee five innings, which he often does, but after that, the game can go in several differential directions for Craig Counsell’s crew. Early in the year, Milwaukee made up for it with an avalanche of runs, but that’s not been there as of late. In the Brewers’ past ten games, the most they’ve scored is four runs.
Jose Quintana has seen a lot of the Brewers this year, and unlike most pitchers, he’s gotten better against the Brewers the more he’s seen them. In his first two appearances against Milwaukee, the Brewers shelled him for a combined 11 runs on 12 hits in 9.2 innings worth of work. But in his two most recent appearances against Milwaukee, he’s picked up a pair of wins and held the Brewers to two runs, both of which came in a 6-2 win on Aug. 2. Against the Brewers at home on Aug. 30, Quintana scattered four hits and didn’t allow a run to score in a 7-1 Cubs victory.
The change in fortunes has followed Milwaukee’s position in the playoff race pretty well. When the Brewers were winning, they had no problems with Quintana, but as the wins have gotten harder, he’s become a more effective hurler against Milwaukee.
These two clubs don’t like each other much, and their fan bases battle each other while their teams battle on the field. Cubs fans will often buy tickets in Wisconsin, which is less than 90 minutes away from Milwaukee, making Miller Park almost a home game for the Cubs. The abundance of Chicago fans hasn’t hurt the Brewers, who lead the season series 8-7 and are 4-2 against the Cubs in Milwaukee.
- The Cubs have won their past five road games
- The Cubs are 7-0 in Quintana’s past seven against the NL Central.
- The Brewers have lost six of their past seven series openers.
- The Brewers are 0-4 in Anderson’s past four starts against a team above .500.
- The under is 5-0-1 in the Cubs’ past six games.
- The under is 6-0 in the Brewers’ past six Thursday games.
The temperature is cooling to 61 degrees at first pitch, which could put a chill in the air.
The Brewers need this game more, but the Cubs are playing better baseball at the moment and look like the better squad. Chicago has the pitching to hold down Milwaukee’s offense and keep this at a low score, and that’s precisely the kind of game that the Cubs can win and the Brewers fear. Milwaukee’s efforts to get back to where they were a season ago look like they’re going to fall short this season. Give me the Cubs to get the critical win over their northern rivals.
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