Series Preview: Cubs v. Brewers, May 30 – June 1, 2014

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Series Preview: Cubs v. Brewers, May 30 – June 1, 2014

Chicago Cubs

brewers logoThe Cubs haven’t scored a run in 20 innings, and, in years past, the Brewers would be the cure to those ails. They still might be, but they’ve got some random dudes pitching fairly well this year.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs won the first game in San Francisco after splitting in San Diego, and, at that point, you could still do a “Cubs have won X out of last Y” thing that looked pretty good. But after two straight losses to get out of town, the Cubs are back to having the worst record in the Majors. By a pretty healthy margin, actually.

The Brewers have won a couple series in a row against good teams (Marlins, Orioles), and they’re still on top in the NL Central by three games. It’s gotta be so nice to have a pop-up surprise season like that. Viva 2015!

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, May 30 at 7:10 CT on WGN.
  • Saturday, May 31 at 3:10 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, June 1 at 1:10 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.


Starters: Travis Wood (4.35 ERA, 3.73 FIP; 2.70 K/BB), Jason Hammel (3.08 ERA, 3.17 FIP; 3.60 K/BB), Jeff Samardzija (1.68 ERA, 2.78 FIP; 3.05 K/BB)

Lineup (with obvious rotations in place):

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
  2. Junior Lake, LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Starlin Castro, SS
  5. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  6. Luis Valbuena, 2B
  7. Welington Castillo, C
  8. Mike Olt, 3B
  9. Pitcher


Starters: Marco Estrada (3.98 ERA, 5.43 FIP; 3.56 K/BB), Wily Peralta (2.12 ERA, 3.74 FIP; 3.06 K/BB), Kyle Lohse (2.92 ERA, 3.43 FIP; 4.54 K/BB)


  1. Jean Segura, SS
  2. Ryan Braun, RF
  3. Jonathan Lucroy, C
  4. Carlos Gomez, CF
  5. Mark Reynolds, 3B
  6. Scooter Gennett, 2B
  7. Khris Davis, LF
  8. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Starlin Castro has gone ice cold in his last nine games – .135/.179/.216 – but he’s been hitting the ball hard, and hasn’t been striking out. So, although he’s been “cold,” it’s hard to say he’s been “slumping.”

Similarly, Anthony Rizzo is down at .206/.363/.286 over his last 18 games. His strikeout rate is up slightly over that stretch, though he’s still taking his walks. All in all, it still feels like just a typical down stretch that all players go through at various times in a season. And, if Rizzo is now the kind of guy who posts a .363 OBP when he’s slumping, we should all be very happy.

Mike Olt is right there in the coldness, going .118/.179/.265 over his last 11 games, with 17 strikeouts. He’s overtaken the team K% lead from Junior Lake, 34.8% to 34.2%.

Of late, the Brewers have done some lineup-optimization, with Ryan Braun (their best hitter) hitting second (as he should), followed by Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez. I think it’s fairly smart, though I’m not sure I’d want Jean Segura getting the most at bats on the team.

Strictly speaking, so far this year, Gomez has actually been the Brewers’ best hitter, going .323/.394/.594, which is just silly. He remains the best reminder that, sometimes, top prospects take a little while to put it all together. The physical ability was always visible, but it just didn’t manifest itself at the plate until he was 27(!), and had already been passed on by the Mets and Twins. Now, he’s a superstar.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.