Series Preview: Cubs at Brewers, August 26 - August 28, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Brewers, August 26 – August 28, 2022

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are finally headed back out on the road this weekend, but they’re not going far. They’ll play three games a piece in Milwaukee and Toronto, then they’ll get a day off, which will bring us into September. After that, it’s a series in St. Louis, followed by a couple more series at Wrigley Field against the Reds and Giants.

With the exception of a couple of series in New York and Miami, the Cubs are mostly staying close to home from here on out.

As for this weekend’s matchup, the Cubs and Brewers will rematch last weekend’s series, this time at Wrigley North. The Cubs took two of three last time around, with the bats coming to life in each of the first two games. I’d like to see a little more of that this weekend, if it’s not too much to ask.

(Nick Madrigal was especially hot last weekend, with six hits and a walk through his three starts as the leadoff hitter).

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (54-71) came close to a really prolonged hot stretch of baseball, but ultimately it was bookended by series losses to the Cardinals. Still, the Cubs have separated themselves from the Reds and Pirates by quite a bit in the NL Central.

The Milwaukee Brewers (65-58) are having a little meltdown, and I don’t hate it — especially, because the Cubs were a part of it last weekend, when they took two out of three at Wrigley Field. Let’s do that again.

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Can Justin Steele actually keep this up? For my money, he’s been the best thing to happen to the Cubs this season. And he’s starting tonight.

Ian Happ has four hits over his last two games, including two doubles, which brings his season double total up to 33. And that is tied with the likes of Trea Turner, Nolan Arenado, and Xander Bogaerts for 10th most in MLB. And for reference, 34 would tie him with Paul Goldschmidt for 5th most.

Since August 1, Seiya Suzuki is slashing just .222/.289/.333 (73 wRC+). But on the bright side, his 89.1 MPH average exit velocity and 12.0 degree launch angle during that stretch are both quite strong — stronger, at least, than his .271 BABIP would indicate.

Rowdy Tellez is the hot Brewers hitter over the last month, with a .247/.370/.597 slash line including 8 homers and a 16.3% walk rate in 92 PAs. But other than him, there’s not much offense going on in Brewer-land.

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Friday, August 26 at 7:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, August 27 at 6:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, August 28 at 1:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Justin Steele (LHP) vs. Freddy Peralta (RHP)
Game 2: Drew Smyly (LHP) vs. Brandon Woodruff (RHP)
Game 3: Adrian Sampson (RHP) vs. Eric Lauer (RHP)

Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Willson Contreras*
  • 1B – P.J. Higgins
  • 2B – Nick Madrigal
  • 3B – Zach McKinstry/Chris Morel
  • SS – Nico Hoerner
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF – Chris Morel/Rafael Ortega
  • RF – Seiya Suzuki
  • DH – Franmil Reyes

*Willson Contreras has been out with an injured ankle for the past few days. He’s not on the IL, but his availability is unclear.

Injured/Unavailable: Wade Miley, Alec Mills, Keegan Thompson, Steven Brault, Adbert Alzolay, Codi Heuer, Manuel Rodriguez, Michael Hermosillo, Ethan Roberts, Jason Heyward, Kyle Hendricks, Brad Wieck

Milwaukee Brewers:

  • C – Victor Caratini
  • 1B – Rowdy Tellez
  • 2B – Kolten Wong
  • 3B – Luis Urias
  • SS – Willy Adames
  • LF – Christian Yelich
  • CF – Tyrone Taylor
  • RF – Hunter Renfroe
  • DH – Andrew McCutchen

Injured/Unavailable: Alex Jackson, Jace Peterson, Mike Brosseau, Trevor Rosenthal, Jandel Gustave, Trevor Gott, Aaron Ashby, Miguel Sanchez

By the Numbers

Run Differential:
Cubs: -78
Brewers: +23

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.14
Brewers: 4.51

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.77
Brewers: 4.33

Author: Michael Cerami

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