Jake Arrieta (21-6, 1.82 ERA) is on the hill for the Chicago Cubs (94-65) as they square off against Ariel Pena (2-0, 3.91 ERA) and the Milwaukee Brewers (68-91) in the first of a three-game series at Miller Park. The Cubs come into this series riding a five-game winning streak. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 2 and can be seen on CSCh and FSWI.
Pena pitched 5.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering three runs, striking out five and walking one in a 4-3 defeat to the Cardinals. Arrieta went 7.0 innings, surrendering zero runs and striking out nine in a 4-0 win over the Pirates in his most recent start. Anthony Rizzo (.277, 92 Rs, 30 HRs, 96 RBIs, 17 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI.
Chicago is favored (-208) over Milwaukee and the Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at seven runs. The Brewers have an overall money line of -1,819 and a record as the underdog of 42-60. Milwaukee has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 23-32 and 31-42 as the underdog and SU respectively.
As for their opponent, Chicago is coming in with an overall money line of +1,457 and an impressive record of 69-38 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 7-2 record, and a 7-3 record SU. Offensively, they average four runs per game on the road, which is second in the NL. Chicago is excellent at drawing walks with an NL-best 3.5 per game. The Cubs allow 3.8 runs per game, but have improved upon those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 2.3 runs per game during that span. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Cubs are the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.16 for the season. The Cubs have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.8 strikeouts per game.
The Cubs have controlled the season series, 11-5. The Brewers have a 49-70 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Arrieta takes the mound. Pena (RHP) will be on the hill against the Cubs, who have a 75-51 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC, O/U - Over
The Brewers hold a 31-42 record this season against teams in the NL Central Division. The Cubs' record in these matchups is 43-30.
Milwaukee has won 49% (37-38) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Chicago has won 59% (38-26) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Cubs are coming into this game after allowing zero walks during their last outing. The Brewers have a 5-12 record when opponents give up that many walks.
When they outhit their opponents, the Brewers are 50-13. The Cubs have a 64-9 record when outhitting opponents.
Milwaukee and Chicago both rank in the bottom half of the league in runs. Milwaukee sits at 19th with 653 runs this season and Chicago ranks 16th with 679.
Ranking 24th, Milwaukee is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 408 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at second with 554.
The Brewers are 51-40 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Cubs are 67-28 when they hit at least one homer.