Preview: Brewers at Cubs

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[April 26, 2016]    The Chicago Cubs have beaten up on division opponents so far this season, and they hope to continue that trend when they host the Milwaukee Brewers for a three-game series that starts Tuesday. The Cubs are 8-2 against National League Central rivals and won 12 of their last 13 games against the Brewers last season.

Chicago stayed hot last weekend, outscoring Cincinnati 38-14 while taking three of four from the Reds. The Brewers haven’t gotten much out of their starting pitchers, but the lone exception has been right-hander Jimmy Nelson, who takes the mound in the opener. He will have to contend with the highest-scoring team in the majors, as the Cubs average 6.3 runs and have scored eight or more seven times. Nelson might not get much support, either, as Milwaukee’s active roster is a combined 7-for-50 with no extra-base hits and 14 strikeouts against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), CSN Chicago

PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Jimmy Nelson (3-1, 3.46 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 4.00)

Nelson has gone at least six innings in all four of his starts this season, allowing two earned runs in three of them. He had a bit of a rough time last time out against Minnesota, allowing four runs and 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings while giving up two long balls – his fifth and sixth of the season. Nelson has made five starts and two relief appearances against the Cubs, going 0-3 with a 3.60 ERA.

Hendricks was tagged for four early runs in his last start at St. Louis and suffered his second straight loss. The 26-year-old settled down after allowing four runs in the first two innings but failed to record a quality start for the first time in three outings this season. Hendricks is 4-1 with a 1.45 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers.


1. Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo, who has five homers in his past five games, is 4-for-13 with a double, a triple and a homer against Nelson.

2. Brewers C Jonathan Lucroy is batting .323 during an eight-game hitting streak, but he’s 1-for-7 versus Hendricks.

3. Chicago RF Jason Heyward is 10-for-20 over his past five games, raising his average 90 points to .260.

PREDICTION: Cubs 5, Brewers 3

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