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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers series preview

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If you thought the weekend series vs. the White Sox was a mismatch...

Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Brewers recently activated Christian Yelich from the COVID-19 list, though he is 0-for-4 since returning and hasn’t had a good year anyway (.231/.379/.360 with six home runs in 225 at-bats).

The bigger challenge for Milwaukee is the seven other players they currently have on the COVID-19 list (Adrian Houser, Josh Hader, Eric Lauer, Jake Cousins, Jandel Gustave, Hunter Strickland and Keston Hiura). In addition to that, Daniel Vogelbach has been out with a hamstring injury. The Brewers then went and picked up the one guy in MLB who probably most physically resembles Vogelbach, Rowdy Tellez, and Tellez is hitting .318/.403/.591 (21-for-66) with five home runs in 24 games with Milwaukee.

You’ll see below why all those guys being out is making things difficult for the Brewers, who dropped two of three to the Giants over the weekend, blowing late-inning leads in both defeats.

Fun fact

Perhaps not so much fun for the Cubs: Since 2019 they are 17-24 against the Brewers, though 11-11 at Wrigley Field. They have outscored the Brewers 181-180 in those 41 games, but this year they’re just 3-9 vs. Milwaukee and have been outscored 69-43 in the 12 games thus far — and that was before the selloff.

Probable pitching matchups

Monday: Alec Mills, RHP (5-4, 4.41 ERA, 1.442 WHIP, 4.25 FIP) vs. Freddy Peralta, RHP (8-3, 2.21 ERA, 0.895 WHIP, 3.03 FIP)

Tuesday: Justin Steele, LHP (2-0, 2.03 ERA, 1.050 WHIP, 3.99 FIP) vs. TBD

Wednesday: Jake Arrieta, RHP (5-10, 6.34 ERA, 1.688 WHIP, 6.25 FIP) vs. TBD

Thursday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (13-4, 3.68 ERA, 1.292 WHIP, 4.57 FIP) vs. TBD

You might be wondering why the Brewers don’t have any starters listed past the first game of this series. Here’s why:

Manager Craig Counsell was able to name a starting pitcher for Monday in Chicago – Freddy Peralta, who will be pitching on regular rest for the first time because the Brewers have little other choice. After that, it was wait and see.

“It will be Freddy and then we’re at TBA right now for the rest of the series,” Counsell said.

Adrian Houser would have pitched in the four-game series against the Cubs but he’s on the COVID-19 list. Ditto for lefty Eric Lauer, who had filled in nicely as a sixth starter when needed.

The Brewers might have no choice but to summon left-hander Aaron Ashby to start Tuesday at Wrigley Field. He had a regrettable major-league debut June 30 against Chicago at American Family Field, surrendering seven first-inning runs, but that was before the Cubs sold off everything that wasn’t nailed down prior to the deadline.

As always, we await developments.

Times & TV channels

Monday: 7:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Tuesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Brewers market territories)

Wednesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

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

Prediction

It would be a moral victory (as well as an actual one!) if the Cubs can win one of these four games. Maybe the one started by Hendricks.

Up next

The Cubs travel to Miami for a three-game series against the Marlins beginning Friday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    4
    (10 votes)
  • 5%
    3
    (12 votes)
  • 19%
    2
    (46 votes)
  • 37%
    1
    (87 votes)
  • 32%
    0
    (76 votes)
231 votes total Vote Now