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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers series preview

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The Cubs once again face their I-94 rival at Wrigley.

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Cubs took two of three from the Brewers at Wrigley Field to begin the 60-game 2020 season. Now they’ll meet again at Wrigley for a four-game set. Here’s an update on the Brewers from Kyle Lesniewski, manager of our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball.

Now more than a quarter of the way into their schedule, the Milwaukee Brewers are a team that is still searching for consistency on offense. Entering yesterday’s loss to the Twins, the Brewers ranked 11th in the National League in runs per game and 12th in team OPS+. Now at 7-9, they have been outscored 75-62 on the year. After a slow start, Christian Yelich has picked things up in the past week. Keston Hiura and Avisail Garcia are providing solid, if unspectacular results at the plate. But no one else in the regular lineup has an OPS+ over 100, though Manny Pina and Jedd Gyorko have chipped in off the bench.

Pitching, in general, is what is keeping the team competitive right now. Before yesterday’s 12-2 laugher, the club was No. 5 on the senior circuit with a 3.69 ERA and tied for 7th with a 4.10 FIP. The Cubs will face the club’s top two starters in Brandon Woodruff (2.53 ERA) and Adrian Houser (2.65 ERA) in games two and three, and while the bookends may not look intimidating with Brett Anderson (5.40 ERA) in game one and Josh Lindblom (5.68 ERA) in game four, the plan for those two seems to have been to keep a tight leash on them early in ballgames and should they work into trouble in the third, fourth, or fifth inning, Counsell hasn’t hesitated in turning to long-relief weapons like Corbin Burnes (2.92 ERA) or Freddy Peralta (3.60 ERA).

Fun fact

The Cubs have won eight of the last 11 games between these two teams at Wrigley Field and have outscored the Brewers 45-23 in those 11 games, dating to May 11, 2019.

Pitching matchups

Thursday: Yu Darvish, RHP (2-1, 2.12 ERA, 0.882 WHIP, 1.62 FIP) vs. Brett Anderson, LHP (0-1, 5.40 ERA, 1.650 WHIP, 5.58 FIP)

Friday: Tyler Chatwood, RHP (2-1, 5.40 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 2.44 FIP) vs. Brandon Woodruff, RHP (1-1, 2.53 ERA, 0.984 WHIP, 3.27 FIP)

Saturday: Alec Mills, RHP (2-0, 1.38 ERA, 0.769 WHIP, 4.05 FIP) vs. Adrian Houser, RHP (1-1, 2.65 ERA, 1.059 WHIP, 4.44 FIP)

Sunday: Jon Lester, LHP (2-0, 1.06 ERA, 0.647 WHIP, 3.80 FIP) vs. Josh Lindblom, RHP (1-0, 5.68 ERA, 1.579 WHIP, 5.40 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Thursday: 6:15 p.m. CT, Fox-TV (full national broadcast, no blackouts)

Friday: 7:15 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Brewers market territories)

Saturday: 7:15 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Sunday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

The Brewers are 4-6 over their last 10 games and as noted above, the Cubs took two of three from them at Wrigley to open the season and have dominated the Brewers recently in Chicago. The Cubs will win three of four.

Up next

The Cubs host the Cardinals for a three-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    4
    (37 votes)
  • 54%
    3
    (99 votes)
  • 20%
    2
    (38 votes)
  • 2%
    1
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    0
    (2 votes)
181 votes total Vote Now