Series Preview: Brewers at Cubs, April 26 - April 29, 2018

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Series Preview: Brewers at Cubs, April 26 – April 29, 2018

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have themselves a fairly big early-season series on tap.

The Brewers are riding an eight-game winning streak into Wrigley Field for a lengthy four-game matchup. If the Cubs can get the best of them this weekend, they’ll have successfully taken some wind out of those sails. If things goes south, however, the Brewers will have built up quite the early season lead.

This is also a big series because it could mark the return of Kris Bryant, who’s been sidelined as he recovers from getting hit in the head on Sunday, and Ben Zobrist, who’s been on the disabled list, but is eligible (and somewhat expected?) to come off over the weekend. If the Cubs get both guys back and take 3 of 4 from Milwaukee, I bet we’ll all be smiling.

What could go wrong?

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (10-9) just split their two-gamer in Cleveland after taking two of three from the Rockies in Colorado. They’re 5-5 in their last ten and 3.0 games back in the central.

The Milwaukee Brewers (16-9) have won eight games in a row, flinging themselves into first place with a one game lead over the Cardinals, 2.5 games over the Pirates and 3.0 games over the Cubs. Though, to be fair, the Cubs are only one behind in the loss column.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Thursday, April 26 at 7:05 CT on NBC Sports Chicago+, MLBN (out-of-market only), 670 The Score
  • Friday, April 27 at 1:20 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, MLBN (out-of-market only), 670 The Score
  • Saturday, April 28 at 1:20 CT on ABC-7, MLBN (out-of-market only), 670 The Score
  • Sunday April 29 at 1:20 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Kyle Hendricks (4.09 ERA, 5.64 FIP; 2.71 K/BB)
  • Yu Darvish (6.86 ERA, 5.02 FIP; 1.91 K/BB)
  • Jose Quintana (7.78 ERA, 5.22 FIP; 1.45 K/BB)
  • Tyler Chatwood (3.74 ERA, 4.29 FIP; 1.21 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Javy Baez
  • 3B – Kris Bryant*
  • SS – Addison Russell
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber
  • CF – Ian Happ/Albert Almora/Jason Heyward
  • RF – Jason Heyward

*Kris Bryant has been day-to-day, after getting beaned in the head on Sunday. Ben Zobrist is on the 10-Day DL, but could come back before the end of this series.

Milwaukee Brewers

Probable Pitchers:

  • Chase Anderson (3.25 ERA, 5.90 FIP; 2.33 K/BB)
  • Brent Suter (5.68 ERA, 4.06 FIP; 3.17 K/BB)
  • Junior Guerra (0.56 ERA, 2.81 FIP; 2.50 K/BB)
  • Zach Davies (4.45 ERA, 5.20 FIP; 2.20 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Manny Pina
  • 1B – Ryan Braun
  • 2B – Eric Sogard
  • 3B – Travis Shaw
  • SS – Orlando Arcia
  • LF – Christian Yelich
  • CF – Lorenzo Cain
  • RF – Domingo Santa

*Eric Thames and Corey Knebel are on the disabled list.

Keep an Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Kyle Hendricks has really had just one bad start this season (5.0 IP, 9H, 4ER, 1BB, 1K, 2HRs), but it came against the Brewers in Milwaukee. Hendricks does seem to pitch better at Wrigley, though, so let’s see if he can squash that memory and get the Cubs back on track.

Cubs Player: Anthony Rizzo hasn’t really gotten off to the hottest start, but he is riding a three-game hitting streak coming into play today. And I’m guessing he’s about to bust right out. His line-drive rate, fly-ball rate, and ground ball rate are all almost exactly inline with his career numbers, and he’s getting less soft contact than he ever has before. He needs to barrel up more balls, in general, but I think he may have been pretty unlucky so far. He’s my pick for a big weekend.

Brewers PitcherJunior Guerra has given up just one earned run through 16.0 innings pitched this season, and that was all the way back in the sixth inning of his first start this year. He hasn’t faced the Cubs yet, though, so maybe they can help him with his regression problem.

Brewers PlayerRyan Braun has been an above average offensive contributor this season (116 wRC+) and has collected five hits (including a double and two walks) over the past two days. The Cubs will get a break with Eric Thames on the DL, but with solid outfield depth and Braun covering first for Thames, the Brewers still look tough.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami