The National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers are the hottest team in baseball on the strength of an eight-game winning streak.
However, not many have been better over approximately the last six weeks than the Chicago Cubs.
The visiting Brewers can extend their division lead over the second-place Cubs in Monday night’s opener of this key three-game series.
Since July 18, Chicago is 26-11 — third-best record over that span — to sit among the NL wild-card leaders. After taking three of four at Pittsburgh, the Cubs are 10-1-1 in their last 12 series.
However, Chicago is still four games behind Milwaukee, which has won 12 of the last 15. After being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game set from Aug. 15-16, the Brewers took all three at Texas, two versus Minnesota and three more from San Diego.
Following Sunday’s 10-6 victory over the Padres, Milwaukee has outscored its opponents 58-34 during the eight-game winning streak — the club’s longest since an 11-game run from 2021.
“I think we’re feeling good as a ballclub,” Milwaukee’s Mark Canha, who went 5-for-12 against the Padres, told Bally Sports Wisconsin.
“We just want to go in (to Chicago) and put forth a good effort like we have been.”
The Brewers are 4-3 against the Cubs in 2023, and took two of three at Wrigley Field to open the season. The Cubs, though, are amid a 13-5 stretch at home, where they last dropped a series to Boston out of the All-Star break.
“We’re looking forward (to the series with Milwaukee),” Cubs manager David Ross said. “We’re looking forward to getting them at home. That crowd. … Real excited.”
The last time the Brewers faced scheduled Cubs starter Jameson Taillon (7-8, 5.60 ERA), they totaled seven hits and three runs in four innings against the right-hander, and went on to win 9-5 on April 2. Taillon, though, is 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA in his last four home starts.
Taillon’s most recent start came at Detroit on Wednesday, when he took a no-hitter into the sixth, but wouldn’t finish that frame. He was charged with four runs in two-thirds of that inning, but the Cubs eventually won 6-4.
Milwaukee star Christian Yelich is hitless in three straight games, and 2-for-18 with eight strikeouts in his last five. However, he’s 8-for-20 with a homer against Taillon. Yelich is batting .357 with a home run and four RBIs in seven games against the Cubs in 2023.
Meanwhile, teammate William Contreras has batted .385 with two homers, four doubles and nine RBIs in his last seven contests.
Scheduled Milwaukee starter Wade Miley (6-3, 3.18) allowed two runs and five hits over 10 innings in his first two starts after coming off the injured list from an elbow issue on Aug. 2. However, the left-hander has yielded three earned runs through five innings in each of his last two games.
Miley, a former Cub, allowed four runs and nine hits through five innings of a 7-6, 11-inning home loss to Chicago on July 4. For his career, Miley is 9-4 with a 4.01 ERA in 17 starts against the Cubs.
The Cubs’ Cody Bellinger has two hits in nine career at-bats versus Miley. With three hits and five RBIs during Sunday’s 10-1 rout of Pittsburgh, Bellinger is batting .321 with 75 RBIs on the season.
Teammate Seiya Suzuki is batting .432 with seven RBIs and a 1.260 OPS during his 10-game hitting streak. He’s 6-for-12 versus Milwaukee in 2023.
–Field Level Media