The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers will wrap up their three-game series at Wrigley Field on Sunday. The National League Central rivals have split the first two games of the series, setting up the rubber match of their opening series of the MLB season on Sunday.
There is no love lost between the Brewers and Cubs, and there were a few heated moments during the game on Saturday. New social distancing rules kept the two teams from clearing the benches, but there were plenty of words exchanged.
Both the Cubs and Brewers are expected to be playoff contenders in 2020, but the NL Central is loaded with good teams. The St. Louis Cardinals are the big favorites, and they are already 2-0 on the young season.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Chicago Cubs at -126 in the series finale on Sunday.
Cubs Need Bryant to Start Hitting
New Cubs manager David Ross inserted Kris Bryant into the leadoff role this season, but that experiment has not gotten off to a great start. Bryant has gone 0-for-9 through the first two games of the season, and that has kept the Cubs from doing much damage on offense.
The Cubs have hit three home runs through their first two games of the season, and they are expected to play long ball a ton in 2020. Kyle Schwarber belted a two-run homer in the loss on Saturday, and Anthony Rizzo hit a homer on Friday night.
Tyler Chatwood will be on the mound for the Cubs on Sunday, and Chicago is hoping that he can return to his old form. Chatwood was miserable as a starting pitcher in 2018 but was a solid option for the team out of the bullpen a season ago.
Chicago also has a bullpen that has a ton of new faces, but not a lot of great arms. Closer Craig Kimbrel is one of the better relievers in baseball, but he struggled for the Cubs a season ago.
Brewers Handing Ball to Peralta
The Milwaukee Brewers will be giving the ball to Freddy Peralta on Sunday, and it’s hard to know what to expect from the pitcher. Peralta pitched in a variety of roles for the Brewers a season ago, but they are hoping to stretch him out as a starter this season.
Closer Josh Hader has yet to pitch in the first two games of this series, and that means that he will be fresh to throw a couple of innings if needed. Hader is one of the best closers in baseball, and he rarely blows a save if given an opportunity.
Christian Yelich struggled in the season opener but belted a two-run homer in the game on Saturday. Yelich was the MVP of the National League in 2018, and he is good enough to carry this Brewers team on offense.
The Brewers will struggle to score at times, but they capitalized on some Cubs mistakes in game two of the series. Look for them to be patient against Chatwood in an effort to draw some walks.
Cubs Win Series Finale
The Cubs and Brewers are evenly matched, and all of their games in 2020 will be extremely competitive. Each team knows that these games are extremely important for their playoff chances, which will lead to a great showing on the field.
This starting pitching matchup features two guys trying to prove they belong in the rotation, and that could lead to a big offensive game on Sunday. Both starters will be on a short leash, and there could be plenty of offensive fireworks.
Chicago is better suited for a slugfest, and they will win this game. Head to FanDuel Sportsbook and bet the Chicago Cubs -126 over the Milwaukee Brewers.