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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers series preview

Ready for a full 162-game baseball season?

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Well, here we go.

You might think this series is a mismatch. Maybe it is. But this isn’t 2021 anymore; the Cubs have improved from last year. The Brewers have mostly stood still.

For more on the Brewers, here’s Harrison Freuck, manager of our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball.

The Brewers enter the season with plenty of questions. Can the pitching staff repeat their dominance from 2021? Will Christian Yelich and Keston Hiura bounce back? How will Craig Counsell manage the DH?

After an amazing 15-4 record against the Cubs in 2021, including a perfect 6-0 series record and an 11-game win streak that spanned from April 24 to Sept. 18, the Brewers will try to repeat that performance in 2022. While the Cubs have certainly improved from September, the Brewers have also added more weapons on offense, including Hunter Renfroe and Andrew McCutchen.

It’ll be interesting to see how this opening series plays out, but I’d expect the Brewers to win the series behind the arms of Burnes, Woodruff and Peralta in the first three games. This series is important for the Crew as they try to set the tone for 2022 in the NL Central.

Fun fact

Not so fun for the Cubs: The Brewers, as noted above, went 15-4 against the Cubs last year and outscored them 124-67, three times scoring at least 14 runs in a game.

It’s gotta be better this year. Right? Right?

Pitching matchups (2021 numbers)

Thursday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (14-7, 4.77 ERA, 1,348 WHIP, 4.89 FIP) vs. Corbin Burnes, RHP (11-5, 2.43 ERA, 0.940 WHIP, 1.63 FIP)

Friday: Justin Steele, LHP (4-4, 4.26 ERA, 1.351 WHIP, 5.52 FIP) vs. Brandon Woodruff, RHP (9-10, 2.56 ERA, 0.965 WHIP, 2.96 FIP)

Saturday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (10-13, 3.02 ERA, 1.145 WHIP, 3.49 FIP) vs. Freddy Peralta, RHP (10-5, 2.81 ERA, 0.970 WHIP, 3.12 FIP)

Sunday: Drew Smyly, LHP (11-4, 4.48 ERA, 1.374 WHIP, 5.11 FIP) vs. TBD

Times & TV channels

Thursday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Brewers market territories)

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

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

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

Prediction

Most of you are probably figuring Brewers sweep, right?

You know, it could happen. But I’m going to be an optimist and say that Hendricks and Stroman will throw as well as they possibly could, and Burnes and Woodruff won’t be as otherworldly good as they were in 2021, and the Cubs will manage a series split.

Up next

The Cubs have Monday off, then head to Pittsburgh for a two-game series against the Pirates. The Tuesday game will be the Pirates’ home opener.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    4
    (17 votes)
  • 9%
    3
    (40 votes)
  • 39%
    2
    (159 votes)
  • 39%
    1
    (158 votes)
  • 7%
    0
    (29 votes)
403 votes total Vote Now