Milwaukee Brewers (24-18; 26-15-1 O/U) vs. Chicago Cubs (21-19; 25-14-1 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 2:20pm EST
Line: Chicago -220/Milwaukee +203
The Chicago Cubs will host the Milwaukee Brewers in a divisional battle Saturday afternoon from Wrigley Field. The Brewers will give the nod to 29-year old right-hander Chase Anderson, and the Cubs will hand the ball to 31-year old right-hander Jake Arrieta. The Cubs currently lead the season series 4-2.
Anderson Aims for Second Win Against Cubs This Season
Chase Anderson will get the call for his ninth time start of the year, looking to improve his record to 3-0. Anderson allowed four runs in 5.1 innings pitched to the Padres five days ago, and finished with another no decision. The 6-foot-1 right-hander features solid numbers, posting a 3.43 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in 44.2 innings pitched. He took on the Cubs last month and was solid, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings and recorded the win. Anderson now sits at 2-0 with a terrific 2.66 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs. Kris Bryant is 1 for 8 with one homer against Anderson, while Anthony Rizzo is 1 for 6, and Javier Baez is 0 for 6. Hernan Perez has been productive at the plate, recording 12 hits over his last nine games, and has driven in five runs in that span. The career .260 hitter is now hitting .274 with five home runs and 18 RBIs on the season. Perez is just 2 for 14 and has not registered an RBI against the Cubs this season.
The Brewers are now scoring an average of 5.26 runs per game, good for third in the Major Leagues, and own a .259 team batting average. The Milwaukee pitching has been decent, sporting a 4.11 team ERA, placing them 12th in the Majors.
Arrieta Looks to Get Season Back on Track
Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the ninth time of the season, looking to snap his skid of two straight losses. Arietta was not sharp again in his latest start, allowing four runs including two homers in six innings pitched to the Cardinals, and was tagged with his third loss of the season. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has struggled to put a good stretch together, sporting a weak 5.44 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP to go along with a 4-3 record in 44.2 innings pitched on the season. He faced the Brewers in his second start of the season and was solid, conceding only three runs in seven innings and got the win, and now features a 7-4 record with an even 3.00 ERA in his career against Milwaukee. Eric Thames is 1 for 4 against Arrieta, while Hernan Perez is 4 for 14 with a homer, and Jonathan Villar is 2 for 9. The Cubs finally found their hitting stroke against the Reds this week as Rizzo, Russell and Schwarber all homered to break their slumps. Schwarber has now collected three RBIs over his last three games, but is still only hitting .188 with six home runs and 17 RBI’s on the season. Schwarber smashed two homers along with three RBI’s against the Brewers this season.
The Cubs bats have heated up, now averaging 4.92 runs per game, ranking them seventh in the Majors, and they are hitting .240 as a team. The Chicago pitching has been strong, recording a 3.91 team ERA, good for ninth in the Major Leagues.
The Milwaukee Brewers are:
- over is 4-0 in Anderson’s last 4 starts.
- over is 8-2 in their last 10 games in the second game of a series.
- over is 20-8-1 in their last 29 games overall.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- over is 6-1 in Arrieta’s last 7 starts overall.
- over is 4-0-1 in Arrieta’s last 5 starts against the Brewers.
- over is 13-3 in the Cubs last 16 home games.
I am taking the over in this contest. Arrieta is struggling on the mound, posting a terrible 7.27 ERA over his last five starts, so the Brewers who lead the Majors in home runs, should plate some runs against Arrieta. Furthermore, Anderson has also not been sharp, conceding four runs in three out of his last four starts, and the Cubs bats are red hot, so I am expecting them to put some crooked numbers on the board as well.