The Cubs (50-67) just finished a 5-2 road trip and are playing better baseball in the second half with a 14-10 mark. Improved starting pitching and a softer schedule have contributed to the better results. That schedule is about to get significantly tougher with a two-week stretch of matchups against winning teams starting with three games at Wrigley with the Brewers.
Milwaukee (63-54) has fallen three games behind the Cardinals in the National League Central after leading for most of the season. They did not add anything at the deadline and finally moved on from stud closer Josh Hader, shipping him to San Diego, and their chances of taking a Wild Card spot are not looking good right now.
Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen have both caught fire and have gotten their numbers back up to respectable levels after very slow starts to 2022. Rowdy Tellez is having a huge year with 24 home runs and 21 doubles.
Corbin Burnes is having another big year on top of the Brewers rotation, although the Cubs are missing him this series. Devin Williams has done an excellent job moving into the closer’s role with his changeup of death, so the Brewers aren’t missing much following the trade. Overall, the team ERA of 3.80 is good enough for 11th best in baseball but well down from their third-place finish last year.
It will be interesting to see if Chicago can keep up their improved efforts against a team fighting for a playoff spot. Unlike last season, the roster actually seems slightly better or at least not worse after the deadline than it did before. Here’s hoping they can mess things up for the Brewers and the Cardinals over the next two weeks.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, August 19 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network (out-of-market only) and Marquee Sports Network.
- Saturday, August 20 at 1:20pm CT on FS1 and Marquee Sports Network.
- Sunday, August 21 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.
What to Watch For
- Willson Contreras had been just 2-for-17 before launching two home runs on Thursday.
- Franmil Reyes is hitting .393 (13-33) since joining the Cubs 10 days ago.
- Stroman has his ERA under 4.00 and looks very much like he did for the Mets last year.
- Steele seems to be getting better as the year goes on and has his best numbers of the season right now.