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Brewers vs. Cubs Series Preview

MLB Pro Baseball Predictions

The Chicago Cubs got their groove back in front of the Wrigley faithful to kick off the week, and now the defending champs will set their sights on another division rival in the form of the Milwaukee Brewers who enter this weekend’s series the frontrunners of the NL Central. Chicago’s taken four of the team’s six total skirmishes to date.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs
Dates: Friday, May 19 – Sunday, May 21, 2017
Location: Wrigley Field

Even with home run extraordinaire Eric Thames out a bulk of the week, the Brew Crew kicked off the week in style by taking three of four from the Padres in Petco. In the proves, Craig Counsell’s squad catapulted themselves to the top of the division standings and moved to a lucrative 12-7 away from Miller Park ( $849 ).

The defending champs abused the Reds over the last three days racking up 9-5, 7-5, and 9-5 wins to bounce back nicely from a disappointing road trip that saw them drop both series to the Rockies and Cardinals. The Cubs now sit a game over .500 as a host ( -$438 ), and have already taken a home series against Milwaukee this season.

Game 1 Probable Pitchers - Friday, May 19, 2017, 2:20 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Paolo Espino vs. Eddie Butler

Wily Peralta has been sent to the bullpen due to ineffectiveness. That made way for Espino to get the call. He’ll be making his major-league debut on Friday afternoon after bouncing around the minors for the last 11 years. He’s impressed at Triple-A Colorado Springs in going 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while racking up a 40:5 K/BB ratio.

Butler will be making his second start after doing a good job in his first go round at St. Louis. He limited the Cardinals to just two hits and no earned runs through six innings. He struck out five, but the three issued walks are concerning. He earned the win, and if he mimics that effort today, he’ll force upper management to make a tough decision once Brett Anderson is deemed healthy to return.

Game 2 Probable Pitchers - Saturday, May 20, 2017, 2:20 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Chase Anderson vs. Jake Arrieta

Since kicking off his 2017 campaign with quality efforts in three of his first four starts, Anderson has had a bunch of trouble recently. While his 3.43 ERA and 1.37 WHIP are tops on the staff, he’s been rocked over his last three starts allowing 22 hits and 10 ER through 14.2 total innings. He’s yet to be defeated by the Cubs in four starts, and owns a 2.66 ERA and .206 BAA against them lifetime.

Arrieta has allowed more hits than innings pitched in each of his last five starts. That’s extremely concerning! His ERA sits at a bloated 5.44 and WHIP at 1.46. He’s been a bit better at home in only two appearances in allowing just 11 hits and 6 ER through 11.2 innings. One of his best starts of the season occurred against the Brewers who he limited to 3 ER and racked up 10 Ks through seven innings. He’s 7-4 with a 3.00 ERA and .170 BAA against Milwaukee lifetime.

Game 3 Probable Pitchers - Sunday, May 21, 2017, 2:20 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Jimmy Nelson vs. John Lackey

Since getting lit up by the Braves in his final April start, Nelson has produced two straight starts of quality limiting the Red Sox and Padres to just 11 hits and 2 ER through 12.2 combined innings. It likely would’ve been a third if his May 5 start against Pittsburgh wasn’t washed away. That said, he’s had all kinds of issues with the Cubs in his career. Chicago smacked him around for 2 HR and 7 ER back on April 18 to move him to 1-6 over 12 career starts.

Lackey has given up 51 hits through 47.1 innings, and has produced only three quality efforts through eight starts. The long ball has also been an issue with him serving up a home run every 4.7 innings. The veteran has turned it around a bit of late pitching to a 3/12 ERA and 1.38 WHIP over his last three turns against Philadelphia, Colorado and Cincinnati. Chicago’s 5-3 with him leading its charge, and has split his four starts against the Brewers.