The Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers will wrap up a three game divisional series Wednesday afternoon from Miller Park. The Cubs will send 28-year old left-hander Mike Montgomery to the hill, and the Brewers will hand the ball to 30-year old right-hander Jhoulys Chacin. The Cubs lead the season-series 8-1. Chicago holds a narrow half game lead over the Brewers for first place in the NL Central.
Montgomery Records Win in Second Straight Quality Start
Mike Montgomery will make his 22nd appearance and fourth start of the year, aiming for his third straight Quality Start. Montgomery was sharp in his latest start, limiting the Pirates to one run in six innings, leading to the win to improve his record to 2-1. The 6-foot-5 left-hander has pitched well in three consecutive starts, and he enters this one with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 43 innings logged on the season. The Brewers have hit Montgomery hard as he stands at 1-5 with an awful 6.04 ERA in 28.1 career innings. Ryan Braun is 4 for 11 with three RBI’s against Montgomery, while Travis Shaw is 4 for 10, and Hernan Perez is 4 for 14.
Anthony Rizzo continues to consistently produce, knocking in nine runs along with two homers in his last nine games. The 28-year old first baseman is having a solid season, hitting .246 with 11 home runs and 46 RBI’s. Rizzo has not been able to solve the Brewers pitching this season, recording 2 hits in 23 at bats with two RBI’s. The Cubs potent lineup ranks third in the Majors with an average of 5.05 runs per game. The Chicago pitching staff is sporting a stellar 3.18 team ERA, good for second in the Major Leagues.
Chacin Defeats Phillies in Second Straight Win
Jhoulys Chacin will make his 15th start of the season, targeting his third straight win. Chacin wasn’t quite at his best last time out, conceding four runs in 6.1 innings against the Phillies in a 12-4 Milwaukee victory, leading to his fifth win. The nine-year veteran right-hander is having a strong season for the most part, registering a 3.58 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP to go with a 5-1 record in 75.1 innings pitched. He owns a solid 3.82 ERA accompanied with a 2-4 record in 37.2 career head-to-head innings against the Cubs. Javier Baez is 0 for 3 against Chacin, while Anthony Rizzo is 5 for 10 with two homers, and Kris Bryant is 0 for 2.
Ryan Braun is on his best stretch of the season at the plate right now, belting three homers along with nine RBI’s in his last eight games. The 11-year veteran left fielder is having a mediocre season, hitting .249 with eight home runs and 31 RBI’s. Braun has struggled against the Cubs this season, going 6 for 33 with zero RBI’s. The Brewers are scoring an average of 4.33 runs per game, ranking them 14th in the Majors. The Milwaukee pitching is their greatest strength, registering a 3.53 team ERA, pegging them sixth in all of baseball.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 0-4 in Montgomery’s last 4 starts against the Brewers.
The Milwaukee Brewers are:
- 4-0 in Chacin’s last 4 home starts.
- 7-1 in Chacin’s last 8 starts on four days of rest.
- 9-1 in their last 10 home games against a team with a road winning percentage above .600.
- 16-6 in their last 22 home games.
I am siding with the Brewers in this battle. Jhoulys Chacin is dominating at Miller Park this season, sporting a stifling 2.79 ERA in his five home starts, and he has only allowed one home run at home this season. In addition, Chacin has conceded two or fewer runs in five out of his last seven starts overall. Furthermore, Mike Montgomery has struggled against Milwaukee in his career, posting a poor 6.04 ERA in 28.1 innings pitched, plus the Brewers have won eight out of their last 11 home games.