The Chicago Cubs will have the opportunity to clinch the NL Central on their terms as they face the Milwaukee Brewers tonight. The St. Louis Cardinals don’t start till later, so a win and the division is theirs.
The Chicago Cubs won’t have to do any scoreboard watching tonight if they can take care of business on the field. With the magic number down to one, the Cubs need simply to beat the Milwaukee Brewers and the celebration will be on in Wrigley Field. While there is more work to be done, this is still an exciting moment for the Cubs and their fans.
The Cubs won back-to-back division titles in 2007 and 2008, then returned to the playoffs last season as a Wild Card team. While the Wild Card has watered down the excitement a bit, the division still will mean a lot to the Cubs. It’s a culmination of the effort the front office has made over the past five years. Turning this team from a running joke of sorts into a perennial contender.
The Cubs (93-52) will turn to their sixth starter Mike Montgomery (4-5, 2.74 ERA) in tonight’s game. Joe Maddon has continued to use the extra starter to rest his rotation. It’s also allowed him to set it up to his liking for the playoffs. Jon Lester looks to be the potential No. 1 in the NLDS, with the rest to be determined.
The Brewers (65-81) continue to push through a season that didn’t have high hopes to start. But they’re a young team that has several players fighting to prove themselves. Jimmy Nelson (7-14, 4.42) has struggled in his last 10 starts. The Brewers have lost eight of those games. Nelson also leads the NL in losses with 14 and walks with 78.
Success against Nelson
The Cubs have fared well against Nelson this season, winning all four of the games he’s started. But Nelson has pitched well, posting a 3.57 ERA in those four appearances. Nelson took a shutout into the eight against them on May 18. The Brewers would eventually drop the contest 2-1.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s potential clincher:
The game is set to start at 7:05 p.m. CT. CSN Chicago will have the television coverage. 670 The Score will have the radio broadcast. Be sure to check back with us later on as we follow the Cubs in their bid to claim the 2016 NL Central crown!