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MLB Free Pick: Brewers vs Cubs

June 11, 2018
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The National League Central has been tight for the first 50-plus games of the season but two teams, the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are beginning to separate from the rest of the division.

The two meet on Monday in Milwaukee with first place in the NL Central on the line. Milwaukee holds a half game lead over the Cubs as the two start a three-game series. Although the Brewers are in first place, the Cubs have won seven of the eight games the two teams have played head to head this season.

The Cubs lost on Sunday snapping a winning streak of four straight but are 11-3 over their last 14, while Milwaukee has lost five of its last eight.

The Cubs’ Jason Heyward has extra-base hits in four consecutive games for the first time since 2015 when he had a streak of six straight. First baseman Anthony Rizzo has at least one RBI in seven consecutive games.

Milwaukee may welcome back slugger Eric Thames, who since April 25 has been on the team’s disabled list due to a ligament tear in his thumb. His presence in the heart of the Brewers batting order could help.
Milwaukee gained more depth on their squad Sunday with the acquisition of infielder Brad Miller who they acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays for first baseman Ji-Man Choi.

Chicago will have Jose Quintana starting on Monday. The left-hander is 6-4 with a 4.20 ERA. Milwaukee will counter with Junior Guerra who is 3-4 with a 2.83 ERA.

Quintana has been inconsistent much of the season, but his last two starts have been strong. The southpaw posted a season high in strikeouts with 10 last Wednesday versus the Phillies, allowing three hits and two runs across 5 2/3 innings of work, but ended with a no-decision. Versus Milwaukee, Quintana 4-1 with a 0.63 ERA with two wins coming this season.

Following a pair of rough starts to start May, Guerra returned to form with strong starts in four of his past five outings. In his most recent start, Guerra lost to the Indians but pitched well giving up three runs in six innings of work. Guerra in seven appearances and four starts against the Cubs is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA. On April 28, Guerra lost to the Cubs 3-0 despite allowing just three hits and one run in six innings.

The sportsbook line has the Cubs as slight favorites -115/+105 and the total is sitting at 8.5 runs.

Pick: Quintana should continue his dominance of the Brewers and the Cubs hitting will give them just enough to beat the Brewers Monday night. Cubs 4-3

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