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Brewers (16-22) vs Cubs (27-9) series preview

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The Cubs are back in town. There's no chance any of these games get rained out!

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs are the best team in baseball on paper and, so far this season, in practice. Their 27-9 record is easily the best mark in either league. That's a 75% win rate. This far into the season that's incredibly impressive. And they're doing it down an important member--Kyle Scwharber is out the rest of the season with a knee injury. The first series against the division rivals didn't go so well but this time around the Brewers might have caught a break.

In the first series the two teams ended up only playing two games. There were torrential downpours that forced the second game to be postponed--rescheduled for August 16. The Brewers lost both games. The first one they only lost by a run. But in the final game of that series they had to face Jake Arrieta. They only managed 2 runs the entire game and lost by 5 runs. This time around however, they won't have to face Jake Arrieta at all. I'm sure the Brewers hitters are quite relieved by this news.

Unfortunately for the Brewers pitchers, they don't get to avoid the Cubs' offense. They lead the National League with a whopping 5.94 runs scored per game. The only better mark in baseball is 6.04 by the Red Sox. For comparison, the Brewers have scored 4.39 runs per game. That's 13th in baseball and 7th in the NL. That's actually not terrible, which just goes to show how dominant the Cubs have been.

Somewhat to my surprise, Dexter Fowler is leading the Cubs with a 166 wRC+ at the moment. He's been electric this year. Anthony Rizzo (162) and Ben Zobrist (151) aren't far behind, but not everyone in that lineup has been a force to reckon with. Both Jason Heyward and Jorge Soler have been below league average offensively. The former really surprises me. I think Heyward is excellent and I'm sure he'll get things going sooner than later. I'm not as certain about Soler. That's only because he's not had much experience at the major league level. He has all the tools to be a star, but that's no guarantee. If these two hitters can turn things around, this Cubs lineup would be downright terrifying.

STARTING LINEUP

C: Miguel Montero
1B: Anthony Rizzo
2B: Ben Zobrist
3B: Kris Bryant
SS: Addison Russell
LF: Jorge Soler
CF: Dexter Fowler
RF: Jason Heyward

ROTATION

Jake Arrieta
Jon Lester
Kyle Hendricks
John Lackey
Jason Hammel

HIGH LEVERAGE RELIEVERS

Hector Rondon
Travis Wood
Pedro Strop

GAMES

Tuesday, May 17 - 7:10 pm: Chase Anderson vs Kyle Hendricks
Wednesday, May 18 - 7:10 pm: Jimmy Nelson vs John Lackey
Thursday, May 19 - 12:40 pm: Junior Guerra vs Jason Hammel

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs

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