So, as you know, this series probably should have been scheduled to be played in Milwaukee.
But we’ve already discussed that here already and it does look like they’ll get the games in, though it’s not going to be very warm this weekend in Chicago.
For more on the Brewers, here’s Harrison Freuck, managing editor of our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball.
The Brewers seem to be in a weird position. On one side, we’ve got veterans like Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Willy Adames, who are all set to be free agents after the 2024 season. On the other side, we’ve got a bunch of young guys looking for playing time, including prospects like Brice Turang, Garrett Mitchell, Sal Frelick, and Joey Wiemer. While Frelick and Wiemer didn’t make the Opening Day roster, it seems like only a matter of time until they’re in the bigs.
As most fans already know, Burnes and Woodruff are as good as any other 1-2 punch in the league. My concern is Eric Lauer going on Sunday. After having a strong start to 2022, he finished the season with a 3.69 ERA. He went on to post an 11.57 ERA across 11⅔ innings in spring training — including five earned runs across four innings in his final start against the Rockies — not a hopeful sign entering the regular season.
On the offensive side, Christian Yelich had a decent spring training, so maybe he’s back to MVP form (just kidding, I think just about everyone has lost hope on that). Mike Brosseau, on the other hand, found his power stroke in the spring, so he’ll be one to watch as the regular season kicks off. The addition of William Contreras helps Milwaukee behind the plate, leaving second base as arguably the biggest question mark with the departure of Kolten Wong. Former NL Central foe Jesse Winker is also looking for a bounce back after a poor year in Seattle, hopefully giving Milwaukee a boost on offense. I’d expect Milwaukee to take two of three, with Sunday’s start by Lauer being the first loss of the season for the Crew.
This will be the third year in the last four that the Cubs have opened the season against the Brewers (also 2020 and 2022). In the previous two series, the Cubs won two of three both times. They won the season series from the Brewers in 2022, 10 games to nine — after going 4-15 against them in 2021. This year, with the new balanced schedule, the two teams will meet just 13 times.
Probable pitching matchups (2023 numbers)
Thursday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (6-7, 3.50 ERA, 1.147 WHIP, 3.76 FIP) vs. Corbin Burnes, RHP (12-8, 2.94 ERA, 0.965 WHIP, 3.14 FIP)
Saturday: Justin Steele, LHP (4-7, 3.18 ERA, 1.353 WHIP, 3.20 FIP) vs. Brandon Woodruff, RHP (13-4, 3.05 ERA, 1.070 WHIP, 3.08 FIP)
Sunday: Jameson Taillon, RHP (14-5, 3.91 ERA, 1.128 WHIP, 3.94 FIP) vs. Eric Lauer, LHP (11-7, 3.69 ERA, 1.223 WHIP, 4.50 FIP)
Times & TV channels
Thursday: 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
I’ll go with those previous two opening series — the Cubs will win two of three this weekend.
The Cubs travel to Cincinnati to meet the Reds in a three-game series that begins Monday evening.
How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?
This poll is closed