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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers Series Preview

One thing we know for sure about this series: there won’t be any rainouts.

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Cubs and Brewers have a lively divisional rivalry that’s tough no matter how the teams are doing in the standings.

I asked Kyle Lesniewski, manager of our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball, to update us on the Brewers as they begin 2017.

The Brewers had a bit of an odd offseason. There certainly were some productive moves - the Tyler Thornburg deal sticks out right away. Travis Shaw demolished the ball in the opening series against the Rockies (a home run and four doubles) and has already appeared at both third and first base. Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington are set to begin their minor league seasons and we are still waiting on the PTBNL from the deal. Thornburg, meanwhile, began the year on the disabled list for Boston. Eric Thames and Neftali Feliz were also noteworthy additions. At the same time, the way that David Stearns managed the edges of the 40 man roster was a bit confusing. Rather than protect an electric young arm in Miguel Diaz from the Rule 5 Draft (where he was selected first overall and thus far has worked two scoreless appearances for San Diego), Stearns elected to keep a spot open and spent the winter claiming, then waiving and subsequently losing, filler guys like Steve Geltz, Blake Parker, Adam Walker, and Ehire Adrianza.

Overall, though, this should be an interesting team to watch during the 2017 season. The offense has already provided glimpses of what it's capable of, scoring 5, 5, and 6 runs in the first three games of the season. Thames and Shaw have already been welcome additions as left-handed power bats and both homered during the Opening Series, with Ryan Braun also clubbing his first long ball of the year. Jonathan Villar, Keon Broxton, Orlando Arcia, and Hernan Perez should provide plenty of fireworks on the basepaths. This team should showcase plenty of power, speed, and on-base ability - but may be frustrating for the casual fan to follow as they'll sure strike out an awful lot, too.

Whether we are forced to slog through another season like the last two (68 and 73 wins) will come down to how well the pitching staff performs, and so far things are not off to a good start. Ace Junior Guerra and Matt Garza have already hit the disabled list and Zach Davies (who some liken to Kyle Hendricks) was bombed in his first start of the year. The bullpen has looked inconsistent and is stocked with unproven arms, so we're not sure what to expect there. The veteran additions of Feliz and Jared Hughes should certainly help, however. If guys like Jimmy Nelson and Wily Peralta can pitch to the ability that they've shown in the past while Guerra, Davies, and Chase Anderson reprise their performances from last season, this could be the year that Milwaukee takes another step forward and gets back around the .500 mark. If not, look for the Brewers to make some more seller moves at the trade deadline.

Fun fact

The Cubs are 25-13 against the Brewers over the last two seasons. However, they lost the last series they played in Miller Park, two of three from September 5-7, 2016.

Pitching matchups

Statistics are from 2016 exept for Milone, Arrieta and Davies

Friday: Brett Anderson (1-2, 11.91 ERA, 2.559 WHIP, 7.91 FIP) vs. Jimmy Nelson (8-16, 4.62 ERA, 1.517 WHIP, 5.12 FIP)

Saturday: Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA, 0.979 WHIP, 3.20 FIP) vs. Tommy Milone (0-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 0.90 FIP)

Sunday: Jake Arrieta (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 2.28 FIP) vs. Zach Davies (0-1, 12.46 ERA, 3.000 WHIP, 5.21 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 7:10 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago

Saturday: 6:10 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago, MLB Network

Sunday: 1:10 p.m. CT, WGN


The Cubs swapped rotation slots, with Arrieta moving up to face the Brewers’ primarily righthanded lineup and Jon Lester pushed back to start Monday against the Dodgers’ primarily lefthanded lineup. Though the Cubs lost the last series they played in Milwaukee last year, they should win this one, two games to one.

Up next

The Cubs return home to Wrigley Field for the home opener Monday against the Dodgers, the first of a three-game series that will include the World Series banner raising Monday and the ring ceremony Wednesday.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    (113 votes)
  • 49%
    (126 votes)
  • 4%
    (12 votes)
  • 2%
    (6 votes)
257 votes total Vote Now