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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers preview, Sunday 4/29, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for their first four-game sweep since 2016.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 Cubs, who won 97 games, swept a four-game series four times, of 12 such series.

The 2016 Cubs, who won 103 games, swept a four-game series twice, also of 12 such series.

The 2017 Cubs, who won 92 games... didn’t accomplish this feat at all. They had 11 four-game series last year.

Part of this is random, just based on the schedule and how the team’s playing at the time, not necessarily the opponent. Sweeping any four-game set is a difficult task, as you can see by the above numbers.

The Cubs have had two four-game sets prior to this weekend. They split four in Miami to open the season, then took three of four from the Brewers in Milwaukee three weeks ago. They do seem to have the Brewers’ number so far this season, going 6-1, outscoring them 27-9, and shutting them out four times. The Cardinals are the only other team to shut out Milwaukee so far this year.

This isn’t an easy pitching matchup for the Cubs, but I think they’ve got things rolling the way they want to right now and a sweep is quite possible.

Also, the Cubs now have the fewest losses (10) of any team in the N.L. Central, and a Cubs win and a Cardinals win this afternoon would put the Cubs and Cardinals in a first-place tie in the division.

Other notes:

  • Cubs starters are now throwing the way we thought they would. For the last turn through the rotation: four earned runs in 33 innings (1.09 ERA). Opponents’ BA through those five starts: . 153 (17-for-111).
  • Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber share the team lead with seven homers each. It’s the first time the Cubs have had at least two hitters reach seven home runs in the season’s first month since 2000 campaign. That year, Shane Andrews and Sammy Sosa finished April with eight homers apiece while Henry Rodriguez added seven.
  • After Saturday’s shutout, the Cubs now have four shutouts over the Brewers this year. It’s the first time a Cubs team has shut out another team four times in one month since May 1969 (Padres). (H/T Ed Hartig)

Onward!

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Brewers lineup:

Tyler Chatwood, RHP vs. Zach Davies, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Chatwood’s last appearance against the Brewers was a one-inning relief appearance last August, after he was demoted from the rotation. His last start against them was April 5, 2017 in Miller Park. He threw six innings and allowed four runs that night, including two home runs.

The weather forecast for today shows it being much less windy than Saturday. Thus Chatwood won’t have that to help him keep baseballs in the yard; he’ll have to do that himself.

Really, with Chatwood I’m more concerned about the walks. He’s walked 19 in 21⅔ innings. That’s way too many. Cut down on those and today should turn out pretty well.

Zach Davies has two good starts and three mediocre-to-bad ones this year. One of the good ones was against the Cubs April 7 at Miller Park, where he allowed one run in six innings. The Cubs won the game off Milwaukee’s bullpen.

Current Cubs are hitting .261 (49-for-188) against Davies with six home runs. Two of those are by Kris Bryant, who loves hitting Davies — he’s 13-for-30 (.433) against him. I’ll say this is the game KB breaks out and hits Davies hard.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.