Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Daniel Collins

Written by: Daniel Collins

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Perhaps the fastest growing rivalry in professional sports is the rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers. Fans of the Cubs and Brewers have had a friendly rivalry for years, but in 2018 things got a little more interesting. Milwaukee and Chicago are separated by just 83 miles on Interstate 94, and opposing fans routinely pack the other team’s stadium. The Brewers and Cubs have met just 350 times, but the rivalry has been extremely close.

The Cubs have a slim 180-170 lead over their rivals from Wisconsin, but odds are that the Brewers might close the gap in the coming seasons. The Cubs and Brewers have never met in the Major League Baseball Playoffs, but it is easy to make a prediction that it will happen in the near future. St. Louis has always been the biggest rival to the Cubs, but Milwaukee is quickly changing the narrative.

History of Cubs and Brewers Rivalry

The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers had been playing each other during Spring Training for many years before their first-ever MLB game. On June 13, 1997 the Milwaukee Brewers came into Wrigley Field and won their first game over the Chicago Cubs. Major League Baseball moved the Brewers to the National League Central Division one year later, and the rivalry began to grow. This rivalry really took off during the 2007 and 2008 seasons as the Cubs and Brewers were in a tight battle for the National League Central Division crown.

Both teams struggled for a brief period after that 2008 season, but the Cubs and Brewers are back to being the class of the Central Division. Milwaukee and Chicago finished in a first-place tie during the regular season, and the Brewers won game 163 to win the division and adva-ce to the playoffs. Early predictions have Chicago and Milwaukee as the two top teams in the National League for the upcoming 2019 season.

The Brewers began as the Seattle Pilots in 1969, but they quickly moved to Milwaukee just one year later and immediately changed the name of the team. The Brewers are named for the city of Milwaukee’s “brewing” industry, and the team plays their home games at Miller Park. Major League Baseball moved the Brewers to the National League Central Division in 1998 after Milwaukee spent their first 28 years in the American League. The Brewers and the Houston Astros are the only two teams in Major League history to play in both the American and National League. Paul Molitor and Robin Yount have been inducted into the Hall of Fame wearing a Brewers cap.

The history of the Chicago Cubs dates back much further than the Brewers, and the Cubs have a much more storied past. The Chicago White Stockings were a charter member of the National League in 1876, and the team switched names a few times before landing on the Cubs in 1903. The Cubs were one of the more dominant teams in the early part of the 1900’s before suffering through a century of futility that ended in 2016. The Cubs joined the National League Central Division when it was created in 1994 and have been competing in the division ever since. Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, and Billy Williams are three of the most famous Cubs players of all time, and all three are in the Hall of Fame.

Head to Head Comparison of Cubs and Brewers Rivalry

Since the Cubs have been around for much longer than the Brewers, it is easy to make a prediction that they have been much more successful. Milwaukee is still looking for their first World Series title in franchise history, while the Cubs have three World titles to their credit. The Brewers have never won a National League pennant, but they were American League champions in 1982. Chicago has 17 National League pennants to their name, but they have struggled when they have gotten to the Fall Classic.

Glance at Cubs and Brewers Last 20 Games

The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers played each 20 times during the 2018 regular season, including a one-game playoff for the Central Division title. The Cubs dominated the Brewers in the early part of 2018, but the Brewers came roaring back in a big way. Chicago won eight of the first nine games against Milwaukee, while the Brewers countered by winning eight of the final 11 games between the rivals.

For the season, the Cubs won 11 games and the Brewers won nine. Milwaukee was victorious in the most important game of the 2018 season, though, beating the Cubs at Wrigley Field by a score of 3-1 to win the Central Division.

The Cubs held a slim edge in total runs scored in 2018 as well, outscoring the Brewers by a combined total of 61-57. The Brewers play their home games at Miller Park, which Cubs fans have dubbed “Wrigley North” due to the large contingent of Cubs fans that attend every year. The Brewers and Cubs split the 10 games played at Wrigley North a season ago. The Cubs went 6-4 against the Brewers at Wrigley Field, but Milwaukee won the biggest game of the season at the Friendly Confines.

Detailed Series Split For Cubs and Brewers Rivalry

If we are going to make a prediction for how the 2019 season between the Cubs and Brewers will go, we need to take a closer look at the games played in 2018. Every game between the Cubs and Brewers a season ago had a run spread of 1.5 runs either way. Of the Cubs’ eleven wins over the Brewers, eight of those wins were by more than 1.5 runs. Milwaukee beat the run odds just one time when they were a 1.5 point favorite over the Cubs. The Brewers did have some success as a 1.5 point underdog, covering that spread nine out of the 20 games played in 2018. Things change from season to season, but odds are that the Cubs and Brewers will be very competitive in 2019 and beyond as well.