Series Preview: Brewers at Cubs, May 30 - June 1, 2022

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Series Preview: Brewers at Cubs, May 30 – June 1, 2022

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs were *this close* to kicking off their 11-games-in-nine-days stretch with a sweep of the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, but they couldn’t put the Sox away on Sunday. Now, they’ll head to north to Wrigley Field to host the Brewers for four straight games, including two today.

On the bright side, the Cubs will miss Corbin Burnes (pitched yesterday), Freddy Peralta (on the IL), and Brandon Woodruff too (on the IL). That’s about as much luck as you can ask for.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (19-27) have lost six of their last ten games and are ten games out of first place. They’re only 6.0 games out of a wild card spot, but they’re behind eight other teams in that race. So if they don’t almost immediately go on a wild winning streak, this season is over.

The Milwaukee Brewers (30-18) have won six of their last ten and are 12 games over .500. They’ve got just a 3.5 game lead over the Cardinals, but are holding strong atop the division.

Hot or Not and What to Watch

Christopher Morel has been as good as we could’ve reasonably hoped so far, with hits in 10 of his 11 games so far, including an active 8-game hitting streak. Lately, he’s taken over center field and leadoff duties entirely and it’s difficult to see him giving it up (though his ability to cover second base also comes in handy). The 22-year-old is slashing .293/.396/.486 (151 wRC+) with a 12.5% walk rate rate, a 22.5% k-rate, and tons of hard contact.

Justin Steele (7ER in 2.0 IP) and Kyle Hendricks (4ER in 4.0 IP after 7ER in 5.0 IP) both have some bouncing back to do, which is a shame because they each had a really solid stretch in the beginning/middle of May. Note that Milwaukee hasn’t been very good against lefties this season, so maybe Steele can get back on track when he throws tomorrow.

The Brewers have a ton of hot bats over the last month, but Keston Hiura (184 wRC+) is leading the way Patrick-Wisdom-style: .276/.344/.690 with a 43.8% strikeout rate. All told, there are 11 Brewers with a positive wRC+ over the last month, five of which (Hiura, Mike Brosseau, Omar Narvaez, Rowdy Tellez, and Hunter Renfroe) are above 140 wRC+. They’re just a good team right now. Thank god Christian Yelich basically sucks (102 wRC+).

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Monday, May 30 at 12:05 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score,
•   Monday, May 30 at 6:40 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
•   Tuesday, May 31 at 7:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Wednesday, June 1 at 7:05 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Ethan Small (L) vs. Matt Swarmer (R)
Game 2: Aaron Ashby (L) vs. Drew Smyly (L)
Game 3: Eric Lauer (L) vs. Justin Steele (L)
Game 4: TBD vs. Kyle Hendricks (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Alfonso Rivas
•   2B – Christopher Morel
•   3B – Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Nico Hoerner
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Rafael Ortega/Christopher Morel
•   RF – Seiya Suzuki
•   DH – Frank Schwindel

Unavailable: Michael Hermosillo, Jason Heyward, Clint Frazier, Ethan Roberts, Nick Madrigal, Yan Gomes, Sean Newcomb, Michael Rucker, David Bote, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer, Alec Mills

Milwaukee Brewers

•   C – Omar Narvaez
•   1B – Rowdy Tellez
•   2B – Kolten Wong
•   3B – Jace Peterson
•   SS – Luis Urias
•   LF – Christian Yelich
•   CF – Lorenzo Cain
•   RF – Tyrone Taylor
•   DH – Andrew McCutchen

Unavailable: Justin Topa, Jake Cousins, Willy Adames, Jandel Gustave, Freddy Peralta, Luis Perdomo

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -5
Brewers: +37

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.37
Brewers: 4.54

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.48
Brewers: 3.77

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Author: Michael Cerami

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