In the first of a three-game series between the Milwaukee Brewers (9-20) and the Chicago Cubs (14-13) at Miller Park, Jimmy Nelson (1-2, 4.03 ERA) and Jason Hammel (2-1, 3.73 ERA) get the start. The game gets underway at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 8 and will air on CSN-CHI and FSN-WI.
Nelson is 0-2 with a 4.71 ERA, 16 strikeouts and six walks against the Cubs in his career. Adam Lind (.333, 13 Rs, 6 HRs, 17 RBIs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run, one home run, and two RBIs. In his career against the Brewers, Hammel is 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA. He meets a less-than-stellar Milwaukee offense that's batting just .223.
Milwaukee is favored by a slight -109 margin in its matchup against Chicago. The teams combine to set the Over/Under (O/U) at eight runs. The Brewers perform poorly as a favorite with a 2-7 record and have an overall money line of -923. They have not performed well against their division, earning an SU record of 7-15 and a 2-4 record when they were the favorite. Milwaukee has averaged 4.5 runs per game over the last 10 games, higher than its season average of 3.4.
Across the field, the Cubs have a record of 7-5 when they are the underdog and are +26 overall with the money line. Against teams in their division, they are 11-9 SU and have played well as the underdog with a 5-4 record. They sport the top-ranked offense in the NL, averaging five runs per game. One of the top road hitting teams in the NL are the Cubs, who average 9.6 hits in games away from home. The Cubs have racked up 28 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Switching gears to Chicago's pitching staff, they allow just 2.2 walks per game, good for second in the NL. They also have some of the most overpowering arms in the NL with an average of 8.5 strikeouts per game.
The Brewers are 2-1 against the Cubs this season. The Brewers will take on a right-hander (Hammel) in this game. They have done very poorly against right-handed starting pitchers this season (8-15), especially at home where they have a 4-10 record. Taking the hill against the Cubs will be the right-hander Nelson. They sport a 12-9 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC, O/U - Over
The Brewers are struggling at 7-15 in their division, while the Cubs are 11-10.
Milwaukee has won 30% (3-7) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Chicago has won 42% (5-7) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Brewers are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 11 strikeouts. The Cubs have a record of 4-7 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they are outhit, the Brewers are 3-16. The Cubs have a 3-10 record when opponents outhit them.
Both Milwaukee and Chicago are tied at 19th in home runs, hitting 21 this season.
Ranking 15th, Milwaukee is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.32 per game. Chicago ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.73.
Ranking 28th, Milwaukee is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.630). Chicago ranks in the top half at 13th with an OPS of .711.
When the Cubs allow at least one home run, they are 7-9. When the Brewers allow one or more homers, they have a 6-16 record.