Slumping Teams Meet

The Milwaukee Brewers are going through some tough times. The Atlanta Braves can certainly relate.

The struggling clubs both look to put weekend sweeps behind them when they begin a three-game series at Miller Park on Monday.

Both teams own 28-22 records, but have fallen into slumps.

Oddsmakers have made Milwaukee -125 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 66% of bets for this game have been placed on Milwaukee -125 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Milwaukee has lost a season-high five straight games, while Atlanta is beginning a six-game road trip after being swept in a three-game set by Philadelphia.

The Brewers are still in first place by five games in an NL Central where every other team has a losing record. The Braves, who have lost 10 of their last 14 games, have dropped 4 1/2 games behind the New York Mets in the East.

Atlanta may receive a boost if Chipper Jones returns to the lineup Monday after missing the last four games with a sore thumb. Jones was encouraged after taking batting practice Sunday.

When asked if he was concerned about the Braves' play following the sweep, Jones said, "In this series? No. If it continues on much past this, yes."

Center fielder Andruw Jones continues to struggle for Atlanta. He's batting .218 for the year and has just two RBIs in his last nine games.

The Brewers are hoping to improve upon their NL-best 17-7 home record following a dismal road trip. Milwaukee opened the six-game swing with a 9-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers last Monday, but managed only 12 runs in losing the final five games.

The club was shut out for the first time this season when San Diego's Jake Peavy and two relievers limited the Brewers to three hits in a 3-0 loss on Sunday.

Milwaukee has dropped 12 of 16 following a 24-10 start. The road trip was especially bad for Brewers regulars J.J. Hardy (3-for-20), Prince Fielder (5-for-22) and Johnny Estrada (4-for-19).

"I don't think we've played as bad as the record shows," manager Ned Yost said. "But we definitely didn't stand out in any way, shape or form."

Brewers starter Chris Capuano (5-3, 4.13 ERA) will try to end a personal three-game losing streak. After going 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA in his first seven outings, Capuano has posted a 9.45 ERA in losing his last three starts while lasting past the fourth inning only once.

The left-hander gave up four runs and eight hits over four innings in a 5-1 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday.

Capuano is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA against Atlanta in five career appearances, including four starts.

The Braves will send Chuck James (4-4, 4.13) to the mound. The left-hander lasted just 4 2-3 innings and gave up three runs in a 3-0 loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday.

James is making his first career start against the Brewers. He made one brief appearance against Milwaukee in relief last season, allowing one hit and recording one out.

Milwaukee went 4-2 against Atlanta in 2006, winning all three meetings at Miller Park.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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