There are worse ways to start a season than 3-1. Let’s see if Adbert Alzolay, David Ross, and the rest of the gang can keep it up and and guarantee their second-straight series win to start the season.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Willson Contreras, C
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Kris Bryant, 3B
5. Joc Pederson, LF
6. Javy Baez, SS
7. Jason Heyward, RF
8. David Bote, 2B
9. Adbert Alzolay, P
After mixing and matching a bit over the past few games (including two starts against a southpaw), David Ross is going back to Ole Faithful tonight. Every player is right where you’d expect him to be in the lineup and on the field.
And why not? Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta is taking the mound against the Cubs today, coming off an effective season primarily out of the ‘pen in 2020 (3.99 ERA, 3.11 FIP; with a massive 37.6% strikeout rate). But this isn’t actually his first game of the season (Peralta was forced into action on Opening Day when Brandon Woodruff came out after just 4.0 innings).
But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be a short day for him. Peralta threw only 2.o innings of relief in the opener, and with the off-day mixed in, he should be just swell to go tonight. This is just what the Brewers do. All hands on deck all the time. The Cubs don’t have a ton of experience against him, but Willson Contreras and Javy Baez (both of whom homered yesterday) do have a couple of hits a piece.
With that said, I was tentatively expecting a night off for Contreras tonight. After all, he did take one off the dome yesterday (he was fine, but still), and the Cubs have a day game tomorrow following the night game tonight. Moreover, the backup, Tony Wolters, is going to have to give him a breather some time (it’ll probably be tomorrow), and I thought it might as well have been against a righty like Peralta, who carries traditional lefty/righty splits for his career:
v. LHH: .230/.353/.391 (.329 wOBA)
v. RHH: .211/.278/.390 (.285 wOBA)
But you’ll never catch me complaining on more Willson Contreras, so this group gets my blessing (not that anyone was asking). As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (6:40 CT).