Brewers vs. Cubs MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Home Team Worth Play on Runline (Saturday, August 20)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago Cubs outfielder Franmil Reyes
- The Brewers and Cubs meet the day after a slugfest at Wrigley Field.
- Freddy Peralta makes the start for the Brewers, and Marcus Stroman gets the ball for the Cubs.
- Check out the full breakdown of the Saturday-afternoon game.
Brewers vs. Cubs Odds
|Over/Under||8.5 (-120 / +102)|
|Time||2:20 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Friday afternoon was one of those games at Wrigley Field. Despite a couple of capable starters on the mound in Aaron Ashby and Keegan Thompson, the wind was blowing out, and the game turned into a home run fest, with five total homers (Andrew McCutchen, Rowdy Tellez, Hunter Renfroe, Patrick Wisdom, and Christopher Morel).
The slugfest ended in an 8-7 Cubs victory. The Cubs have won four straight games, and three of them have been decided by one run. The Cubs have won six out of eight games overall and will send Marcus Stroman to the mound for game two of this three-game weekend series.
Milwaukee has split its last 10 games and continues to lose ground in both the NL Central race and NL Wild Card race. The Brewers are four games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central and one game behind the Padres for the last wild card spot. Milwaukee will turn to Freddy Peralta to help the club right the ship. Unlike Friday, Saturday’s forecast calls for rain most of the day – if the game is able to be played at all. If so, can the Cubs continue?
Some Brewers Bats Heating Up
Peralta will take the mound for the Brewers, and it will be his fourth start since coming off the IL. He has yet to go beyond five innings since, but he did get up to 92 pitches before he was pulled from his recent start against the Dodgers. Peralta has a 3.55 ERA in 12.2 innings in three starts since returning. He is 4-3 with 4.21 ERA on the year.
Peralta’s metrics are strong. He ranks in the 77th percentile in xSLG, the 80th percentage in both xBA and Strikeout Percentage, and the 94th percentile in Barrel Rate. He is one of the better strikeout pitchers in the game and is facing a Cubs lineup that is prone to striking out. Even in a losing effort, Ashby racked up eight in five innings of work. Peralta should have similar success but may be more successful in keeping them off the scoreboard.
For the Brewers, Willy Adames is a player to keep an eye on in Saturday’s game. He is in the middle of a 4-for-28 slump, but he has 22 homers on the season He is also 5-for-11 with two home runs against Marcus Stroman. Hunter Renfroe has homered in each of his last two games and he has hit nine of his 22 home runs in the last month.
Rowdy Tellez has eight home runs in the last month, and he leads the team with 25 home runs on the season. Andrew McCutchen has three home runs and five runs batted in in his last two games. Christian Yelich has regained his stroke after a seven-game hitless drought. He has recorded a hit in each of his last four games.
Cubs’ Scoring Struggles Over?
Chicago is 10-7 in the month of August despite averaging just 3.9 runs per game. However, over the last 11 games, the team is averaging five runs per game. Franmil Reyes and Ian Happ have been among the offensive catalysts.
Reyes is hitting .367 with two home runs and five runs batted in over his last seven games. Ian Happ has recorded a hit in 11 out of his last 15 games. He is hitting .321 with three home runs and nine runs batted in that span. However, he is just 1-for-14 in his career against Peralta. Nick Madrigal is hitting .357 with six runs scored over his last six games.
However, the Cubs pitching has been strong, as well. The team has a 2.98 ERA since the All-Star break and is 16-10 over that span. Marcus Stroman will get the start on Saturday, and he is 3-5 with a 3.96 ERA on the year. In his last seven starts, he has a 2.21 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP along with 33 strikeouts in 36.2 innings. He has also been tough against the Brewers this season. In two starts, he has a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings of work against the Brewers this season.
The Brewers may be the team in playoff contention, but the Cubs have had their number this season. The Cubs have won eight of the 14 meetings this season. In this spot, I like the Cubs to at least keep the game close. Freddy Peralta is one of the top starters in the NL, but he may not pitch beyond the fifth inning.
Either way, Stroman is capable of matching or outshining Peralta, given his recent performance and how he has performed against the Brewers this season. The Cubs have been tough at home of late and have been coming up with timely hitting. I will be backing the Cubs on the runline and would not be surprised if they pulled out an outright win.
Pick: Cubs +1.5
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