Cubs pitcher Jon Lester is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three starts so far this year. Photo by Arturo Pardavila III (Wiki Commons).
- At .722, the Chicago Cubs have the best winning percentage in all of MLB
- Milwaukee sits at 9-10, 4.5 games back of the division-leading Cubs
- Find the latest odds, analysis and a pick for the game below
With a 7-3 record in their last 10 games, the Chicago Cubs are the hottest team in the National League right now. The Cubbies are also 8-3 at home at Wrigley Field, which is where they will welcome the Milwaukee Brewers for their 2:20 pm EST matchup on Sunday for the final meeting of their four-game set.
Milwaukee has the momentum though, coming in off the back of two straight wins over Chicago, including Saturday’s 6-5, extra-innings victory. However, it’s Chicago that is the favorite in the Brewers vs Cubs odds going into Sunday’s series finale.
Brewers vs Cubs Odds
|Team||Runline||Moneyline at DraftKings||Total|
Odds taken August 15th.
The Brewers have also taken six of the last 10 contests between the teams. But it’s always a closely run affair. Milwaukee took the season series 10-9 in 2019, but lost 11-9 and 10-9 the two years before that. The 2020 series is split 3-3 so far.
Lester Locked In So Far
The Chicago lefty has looked on top of his game so far in 2020. The three-time World Series champion is 2-0 with a stingy 1.06 earned-run average through three starts this season.
Since 2016, Jon Lester ranks 3rd in the majors with 48 starts of at least 6 IP and one or fewer runs allowed.@NationalPro pic.twitter.com/k8Tt2lPrkj
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 12, 2020
On top of that, his WHIP has been just 0.65, which goes a long way to limit the baserunners, and which should come in handy against a team that has scored just 74 runs. That’s tied with Pittsburgh for the second-lowest mark of any National League team (not including St. Louis, which has completed just seven games).
Brewers Career Stats vs Lester
Even though he spent many years in the American League as a member of the Boston Red Sox, Lester has built up a fairly extensive track records against NL division rivals such as the Brewers.
Hit your spots, kids! pic.twitter.com/zUgaPeNPEU
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) August 12, 2020
In his career, he is 5-4 against the Brew Crew with a 2.97 ERA, but that ERA crept up to 3.79 in games against them in the 2019 season.
But while players such as Jedd Gyorko have torched Lester for three solo home runs in their meetings, the 2018 NL MVP, Christian Yelich, has seven hits off him in 18 at-bats, but has yet to register a single RBI.
2020 World Series Odds Tracker
Lindblom Making A Splash
After three seasons playing in Korea, Josh Lindblom returned home to sign a three-year deal with the Brewers. With just six career MLB starts before this season, the track record of success was hardly there, but he went 40-10 as a starter in Korea.
ICYMI: Josh Lindblom struck out a career-high seven and won his first major-league game as a starter Thursday night.
The Harrison and #Purdue alum helped the Brewers beat the White Sox 8-3. pic.twitter.com/Plg8LdbtAZ
— Andrew Pogar (@AndrewPogar) August 7, 2020
And now with three starts in his return to MLB, Lindblom has a 1-0 record to go along with a 5.68 ERA. Encouragingly though, his ability to strike batters out has been beyond reproach so far, with 20 strikeouts over these three starts, and a strikeouts per nine innings rate of 14.2, well above his MLB average of 8.5.
Partly as a result of being outside of MLB for the last three seasons, and partly having had a fairly limited MLB career before that, the right-hander has only ever faced two of the Cubs batters in previous games.
Cubs Career Stats vs Lindblom
Cubs Need Bryant To Break Out
After missing two games with a wrist injury, Kris Bryant was back in the Cubs lineup and the leadoff spot on Saturday. He went 1-for-5 against the Brewers on Saturday, which didn’t do much to improve his .196 average on the year.
Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs (2) pic.twitter.com/eGbDyte7kv
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 13, 2020
But a breakout performance is well overdue for the 2016 NL MVP.
He batted .282 with 31 home runs last year, and over the last seven games is batting .269 with a pair of dingers, so the signs are certainly trending upwards for the Cubs third baseman.
2020 Chicago Cubs: 13-5
Against Non Brewers Opponents: 10-2
Against the Brewers: 3-3 (All home games too 😂)
— Josh Lindblom SZN (9-10) (@YelichWasRobbed) August 15, 2020
An afternoon game against a Brewers starter still finding his feet at the MLB level could be exactly what Bryant needs at this point of the season.
Pick: Cubs (-134)
For the last 20 years, Paul Attfield has worked in sports media. Starting out in his native Britain with the likes of The Independent, he eventually switched continents, with his work appearing in the likes of the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Yahoo Sports since.