The Milwaukee Brewers (46-41) face a tough test against Marcus Stroman at American Family Field on Thursday when the impressive right-hander takes the mound for the Chicago Cubs (40-45) with the home team looking to split the four-game series.
The Cubs lead the series 2-1 after winning 4-3 on Wednesday, their third head-to-head victory in six games this season. Reliever Michael Rucker threw two scoreless innings to get the win, and Adbert Alzolay earned his fifth save with a scoreless ninth. Mike Tauchman was 1 for 3 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs in the win. Andruw Monasterio went 2 for 3 with one run for the Brewers.
ON THE MOUND
Stroman (9-6, 2.76 ERA) is slated to start for Chicago. The RHP ranks fourth in the NL in ERA and tied for fifth in wins. Stroman allowed five runs over 5.2 innings in his last start, a 6-0 road defeat against the Guardians on Saturday. He took the loss, giving up five hits while striking out seven and walking two.
Stroman has made one previous start against the Brewers this season, a 4-0 home victory on March 30. He allowed three hits over six scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking three.
For Milwaukee, right-hander Freddy Peralta (5-7, 4.67 ERA) will take the mound. It’s his first appearance of the season against the Cubs. Peralta made three appearances against the Cubs in 2022, all starts, striking out 16 and walking eight over 16 innings (0-0, 2.81).
In his last start on Friday, Peralta took a no-decision on the road against the Pirates. He threw 5.1 innings and gave up three runs on three hits, striking out eight and walking two in the 8-7 loss.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Chicago has averaged 4.6 runs a game, equal to their season average. Against righties like Peralta this season, the Cubs have a .710 OPS.
Ian Happ is the team’s strongest performer against right-handers with a .826 OPS in 221 at-bats. Milwaukee is averaging 6.8 runs per game in the last five, up from 4.2 for the season, with an improved slash line (.275/.352/.399).
The Brew Crew have a .689 OPS against right-handers in 2023. With a .890 OPS over 228 at-bats, Christian Yelich has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Chicago is 19-23 away from home in 2023, scoring 4.5 runs per game while allowing 4.3 runs. Milwaukee has gone 23-20 in front of their home fans this season, averaging 4.3 runs per game while surrendering 4.4.
In the last 10 meetings at American Family Field, Chicago is 6-4 despite an average scoreline favoring Milwaukee (4.5-4.2).
The Cubs are third in the NL Central, seven games behind the division-leading Reds. The Brewers are second in the NL Central, two games behind the Reds.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Milwaukee Brewers (-110)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.