The Chicago Cubs have been struggling recently and are eliminated from playoff contention with a 66-82 record. Righty Adrian Sampson will be pitching as he is coming off a win over the Philadelphia Phillies where he went five innings and gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
The Milwaukee Brewers are leading the NL Central with a 90-57 record and just clinched a playoff spot. Southpaw Eric Lauer will be on the bump as he is coming off a win over the Cleveland Indians where he went 5.1 innings and gave up a run on three hits with a walk and eight strikeouts.
Chi-Town Stepping UpThe Chicago Cubs have not been a great offensive team as they are 20th in the majors with a .712 OPS this season. This lineup consists of a lot of power as they are tied with the Cincinnati Reds for ninth in MLB with 198 homers this year. Chicago has been a decent-hitting team in the last 30 days as they have a .750 OPS while scoring 5.08 runs per game. Left fielder Ian Happ has been hitting decently well as he has a .748 OPS with 23 homers and 57 RBI with five stolen bases in six attempts. If the Cubbies can figure out how to continue hitting as well as they have been recently, they can play the role of spoiler.
Adrian Sampson has not pitched enough to factor into the percentile rankings on his Baseball Savant page so we will look at his Statcast numbers. He has a 10.9 barrel percentage, 90.1 MPH exit velocity, 37.5 sweet spot percentage, and 5.6 walk percentage. Sampson has a five-pitch arsenal (sinker, changeup, slider, fastball, cutter) and his sinker has a .286 batting average and a .551 slugging percentage. He faced the Brewers twice in 2019 as a member of the Texas Rangers as he is 0-0 in 1.2 innings as he allowed no runs on no hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Clinched and Feeling GoodThe Milwaukee Brewers have been an average offensive team this season as they are 17th in MLB with .720 OPS. They have been able to get runs across the plate as they are averaging 4.65 runs per game. Milwaukee has been scoring well as they have 5.2 runs per game in their last five games. Right fielder Avisail Garcia has led the offensive charge for the Brew Crew as he has an .835 OPS with 27 homers and 82 RBI with eight stolen bases in 12 attempts. If the Brewers can hit as well as they have been, they can host a lot of playoff games.
Eric Lauer has been struggling this season according to his Baseball Savant page as he is in the eighth percentile in max exit velocity, 20th percentile in chase rate, 28th percentile in whiff percentage, and 35th percentile in average exit velocity. His 8.4 barrel percentage is the highest of his career. Lauer also throws five different pitches (fastball, cutter, curveball, changeup, slider) and his curveball has been his best pitch as it has a .130 batting average and a .204 slugging percentage. He faced the Cubs once last season out of the bullpen as he threw 2.2 scoreless innings with a hit, a walk, and six strikeouts.
- Milwaukee: 5-1 in their last 6 home games
- Milwaukee: 50-24 in their last 74 games
- Chicago: 1-6 in their last 7 Sunday games
- Chicago: 13-40 in their last 53 games as an underdog