Fade The Stud Pitchers In Playoff Type Matchup

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Brewers vs. Cubs, 8:05 ET

There aren’t many better matchups than this one on the schedule tonight. You get a divisional battle, one between two teams that have some bad blood due to proximity and battles over the years. They may not be the primary rivals of each other, but they are in a race to the finish line this season as the Brewers lead the division and the Cubs are searching for a playoff birth either by the Wild Card or through the division.

The Brewers have been one of the best teams in all of baseball over the last two weeks or so. They have won nine games in a row and are 9-1 over that stretch. They have faced some tough pitching as well in that stretch. It hasn’t mattered as they’ve been able to crush the competition. This wasn’t an easy stretch either. Since August 11th, they have played 15 games and went 12-3. They’ve faced three different playoff teams, one Wild Card hopeful, and two underperforming squads. Their worst stretch was a three-game losing streak at the hands of the Dodgers. The Dodgers are one of the few teams playing better than the Brewers in the second half. Tonight they have their Ace taking the ball, Corbin Burnes. It is hard to tell what is going on with him this season because he struggled for a lot of the early season. Then in July, he pitched very well, posting seven straight quality starts (one came in August). But, in his last three starts, he’s only had one quality start – it was against the Dodgers. The other two were not very good: He allowed six earned over six innings in his last outing and the Brewers still came back to win the game. This is just the second time he faces the Cubs this season – the first was Opening Day and he allowed four earned runs over five innings.

CINCINNATI, OH – JUNE 2: Corbin Burnes #39 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Milwaukee defeated Cincinnati 5-4 in 11 innings. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Cubs haven’t really struggled, but haven’t been able to keep pace with the Brewers. It would be pretty difficult to keep pace with them though so it is understandable. However, the division is looking less and less likely unless they can get some wins in this series. They currently sit back five games from the Brewers, but they are in control of the second Wild Card spot for now. This game could go a long way for a few things: the Cubs getting into the playoffs, and tonight’s starter, Justin Steele, trying to win the Cy Young award. Steele has been very good for the Cubs this season and has the second-best ERA in the Majors. The Cubs have also been very good in his games as they have won 11 of his past 12 starts. He’s made three quality starts over his past five outings in August. He also hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his past 13 starts. They haven’t all been quality starts, but he is getting through five innings typically. Steele has faced the Brewers twice this season with the Cubs going 1-1. He’s allowed three earned runs over 12 innings in the two starts.

The Brewers have to lose eventually, right? They could win 10 in a row tonight and certainly have the right pitcher on the mound to do it. The Cubs have been very good on the season as well though in Steele’s starts. I can’t fade him now as I do think he is in better form. I’m going to play a total – usually I like under’s but I’m taking the over in this one. Both pitchers are allowing runs in their recent games and I think 7 is just too low for this one. It could be a 1-0 game, but I think a 5-3 game is more likely.

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Written by David Troy

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