Starlin Castro hopes to lead the Cubs to a series win over the NL-best Brewers. Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
With a win today, the Cubs (14-27) would have their most impressive series victory of the season. It won’t come easy, though.
Coming off a tremendous start by Edwin Jackson in Saturday’s 3-0 win, the Cubs will send southpaw Travis Wood (3-4, 4.91) to the mound to fend off a Brewers team with the best record in the National League at 27-16. Marco Estrada (3-1, 3.28) will take the ball for Milwaukee.
Estrada has never lost to the Cubs in his career – he has a career 5-0 record against the North Siders. Wood started the season hot with an ERA under three for his first four starts. Since then it’s been a rough road. Wood is 2-2 with a 7.54 ERA in his last four starts – although he did win his last start thanks to an offensive explosion in a 17-5 win over St. Louis on Tuesday.
The Brewers were hoping to get Carlos Gomez back in the lineup after he was a late scratch on Saturday. Gomez is still nursing lower back tightness and will not be in the starting lineup once again today. Milwaukee got Ryan Braun back from injury yesterday and has Aramis Ramirez still on the DL, as well.
They may be banged up, but their pitching staff is keeping them at the top of the standings. Their team 3.17 ERA is third-best in the National League and is tops in the NL Central.
Estrada and Wood have already faced each other at Wrigley Field this season. Back on April 26 Estrada got the win while Wood took the loss in a 5-3 Brewers win.
Starlin Castro has hit Estrada well in his career, going 5-for-12 in his career against the righty. Castro is also hitting well since being plugged into the cleanup spot – hitting .321 with four homers and 13 RBI’s in 20 games.
#Cubs Lineup vs #Brewers: Bonifacio CF, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 2B, Castillo C, Olt 3B, Kalish RF, Wood P
5/18 @Brewers lineup vs. CHC