The Cubs have shown the ability to bounce back after dropping the first two games of a series this season.
Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee dropped five in a row before Monday’s 18-1 blowout victory over the Cubs and followed that performance up with a 4-3 win last night. “We’ve had a real good approach in this series,” third baseman Casey McGehee said. Today’s game will be the final of a six-game road trip that saw the club suffer a sweep in Houston. The Brewers are 26-30 on the road (-20) and have posted a 4-9-4 mark in series play away from Miller Park. Milwaukee is 2-1 early in August and a dominating 35-22 during this calendar month the last three seasons (+930). A win today would give the Brewers four consecutive victories over the Cubs for the first time since 2006. They may be hard-pressed to accomplish that feat, with a 14-25 daytime record (-1,290).
Brewers starting pitcher Manny Parra is 3-8 with a 5.42 ERA in 29 appearances (12 starts) this season and has given up 104 hits in just 86.1 innings. The left-hander has allowed just eight hits over his last 11.1 innings, but has still issued six walks. He is 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA in 16 road outings (six starts), surrendering nine home runs in 42.1 frames. Parra suffered through a miserable July, posting a 1-3 mark and 8.23 ERA in five starts, allowing opponents to hit for a combined .336 average. In four lifetime appearances (two starts) versus the Cubs, he is 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA, which includes a two-inning scoreless outing in relief back on April 23.
Chicago has lost seven straight games and been outscored 67-20 in the process. “Again we get people on and we just don’t get them in,” manager Lou Piniella said. “That’s been a recurring theme.” The Cubs went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday and are batting .152 in the situation the last seven games. The pitching staff hasn’t been any better since the All-Star break, posting a 6.18 ERA and allowing opposing batters to hit for a .310 average. Chicago is 19-32 against the division (-2,500) and the total is 21-25 O/U in those games. The Cubs have been even in bounce back situations, producing a 30-30 record following a loss and 7-7 mark after three or more consecutive defeats.
Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster is an even 8-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 22 starts this season, with the club dropping his last two outings. Over that span, he has allowed eight runs and 16 hits over 11 innings. The right-hander is an even 4-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 11 home starts, as opponents are hitting for just a combined .229 average. Opposing teams have touched up Dempster for at least one home run in seven of his last eight starts. In 42 career outings (20 starts) against the Brewers, he brings a fantastic 13-3 mark and 2.81 ERA and has a personal four-game winning streak against them. He has surrendered three or fewer runs in eight of his last 11 starts.
Bettors will find the Brewers being 2-5 in Parra’s last seven road starts and the under is 5-2 in his last seven divisional starts. Chicago thrives in the third game of a series after dropping the first two games, producing an 8-1 mark in his situation.