Cubs Head to Milwaukee Looking to Feast on Brewers – Series Preview: May 17-19, 2016

Boasting a 7-3 record in their last 10 contests, the Cubs are leading the Major Leagues with a 27-9 record and a run differential of +109 (is that even legal?). They’re coming off their ninth series win of the year by taking 2-of-3 from the Pirates and, despite the negativity spewed by Pirates’ pitcher Gerrit Cole, the Cubs continue to look like the best team in the Majors so far this year and, according the the ESPN Power Rankings, they are.

Game times and broadcast info

  • Tuesday, May 17 at 7:10 PM CDT on CSN
  • Wednesday, May 18 at 7:10 PM CDT on WGN
  • Thursday, May 19 at 12:40 PM CDT on CSN, MLBN (out of market only)

Starting Pitchers

Date Team Pitcher Age T ERA W/L K/BB
5/17 CHC Kyle Hendricks 26 R 3.03 2-2 4.43
MIL Chase Anderson 28 R 6.11 1-5 2.08
5/18 CHC John Lackey 37 R 3.54 4-2 4.70
MIL Jimmy Nelson 26 R 3.51 4-3 2.16
5/19 CHC Jason Hammel 33 R 1.77 5-0 2.25
MIL Junior Guerra 31 R 4.00 2-0 2.60

What to watch for

  • John Lackey enters the series in a nice rhythm, as he’s been throwing the ball well as of late. The 37-year-old has given up just three earned runs over his last three starts, holding hitters to a mere .188 over that span. He’ll look to continue his new found dominance.
  • The Cubs are currently 15-3 against the National League Central. They’ve scored 119 runs in those games, while yielding just 44, absolutely feasting on opposing pitching. Look for that trend to continue as the Cubs take on the Brewers pitching staff that ranks towards the bottom of most N.L. pitching categories.
  • See ball, hit ball well – that’s Ben Zobrist in a nutshell. The do-it-all veteran will look to keep the flame lit against the Brewers. Ben is slashing an impressive .404/.598/.702 so far in 62 plate appearances in May.
  • The Brewers come into the three-game set having lost six of their last 11, and have played under .500 baseball at Miller Park so far this year losing 11-of-21 home games.
  • The Brewers rank 12th in the N.L. in fielding percentage and the Cubs have been putting pressure on pitching and defenses all year, with the League-leading offense. The Cubs also hold the best team ERA in the league at 2.64, while the Brewers have the worst ERA in the Majors at 5.16. So, on paper, the Cubs should cruise in this series. 
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