The Chicago Cubs have their playoff hopes in the balance and desperately need a victory tonight when they meet the Milwaukee Brewers for Game 2 of their three-game season-ending series.
The MLB odds for tonight’s matchup favor Brewers lefty Eric Lauer (-140) over Cubs rookie southpaw Jordan Wicks (+115) when the two square off tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET at American Family Field.
Can the Cubs keep their slim playoff hopes alive? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for the Cubs and Brewers for Saturday, September 30.
Cubs vs Brewers odds
Cubs vs Brewers predictions
The Cubs' collective backs are to the wall, entering Saturday night hoping to end a five-game losing streak away from Wrigley Field. The Cubs couldn’t have asked for a worse situation than to be 1.5 games behind Miami in the NL Wild Card race, but they have three things going for them today that should win at least the first five innings.
The Cubs are 4-1 when Jordan Wicks takes the bump and 3-1 when he starts on the road. The sample size is small, but the numbers are encouraging. The rookie southpaw has posted a 2.66 ERA with 8.41 punchouts and four walks per nine. Wicks keeps the ball in the yard and faces a Brewers offense plating the National League’s 14th-fewest runs against lefthanded pitching and seventh-most runs scored at home.
Chicago hits lefthanded pitching well and has scored the second-most runs this season against lefthanders and the sixth-most runs in the NL from the away dugout. The Cubs have scored 17 runs during the first four games of this current road trip, and they should plate a few early against Brewers lefty Eric Lauer.
Lauer made his last start in the show on May 20, and he surrendered six earned runs with three bombs over three frames and was placed on the IL. Since then, he’s pitched in the Milwaukee farm system and has served up six home runs with 24 walks and 25 earned runs over 44 ? frames in AAA.
Finally, the Cubs need to start quickly, and I expect them to do just that against a less-than-confidant Lauer. Wicks has been good and faces a Brewers offense that struggles against southpaws and doesn’t score many runs at home.
My best bet: Cubs first five moneyline (+110 at PointsBet)
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Cubs vs Brewers same-game parlay
Beyond Chicago winning after five innings, I believe the Cubs will come alive early and score a few runs against a less-than confidant Lauer.
This game should exceed 8.5 runs tonight. The Cubs hit lefties well, and with the remainder of this series being meaningless for Milwaukee, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell may elect to leave Lauer in the game longer than usual to rest his bullpen.
Chicago has surrendered 22 runs over its last four road games, and if the Brew crew scores three runs, and I believe they will, then this game ends Over the total.
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Cubs vs Brewers moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The Cubs must win tonight — otherwise, their season is likely over. I believe they will win the first five innings, and I also believe Chicago will win this game.
Wicks has been outstanding, and the Cubs plate an average of just over six runs per start. The Cubs are 3-1 when Wicks starts for them away from The Friendly Confines, and all signs point to a favorable outcome tonight against Lauer.
Lauer hopes to bounce back from an uncharacteristically bad season by his standards. Over the past two seasons with Milwaukee, Lauer was 18-12 with a 13% home run rate, now allowing 20% of his pitches to leave the yard. His stint in AAA wasn’t much better, and there isn’t any reason to expect anything else from the Brewers southpaw tonight.
This contest features two offenses with above-average strikeout rates, which bodes well for Wicks. Milwaukee has the fifth-highest strikeout rate against southpaws — Wicks is spinning 8.41 per nine punchouts away from Wrigley, but the less-than-confident Lauer is whiffing 10 hitters per nine at home this season.
Trend to know
The Cubs are 6-3-1 on the F5 moneyline over their previous 10 games. Find more MLB betting trends for Cubs vs. Brewers
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Cubs vs Brewers game info
|Location:||American Family Field, Milwaukee, WI|
|Date:||Saturday, September 30, 2023|
|First pitch:||7:10 p.m. ET|
Jordan Wicks (4-1, 3.00 ERA): Wicks is making just his eighth career start for the Cubs. He’s yielded 10 earned runs with 14 strikeouts with a pair of home runs over his last 28 frames. Chicago is 4-1 over his past five starts and 3-1 when Wicks makes a road start.
Eric Lauer (4-5, 5.48 ERA): Lauer is set to make his first start since May 20, when he landed on the IL with a wrist injury. The veteran southpaw previously surrendered eight home runs and 15 earned runs over his last five starts and is 1-3 with an 8.44 ERA at American Family Field.
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