Cubs vs Brewers – Lineups, Pitching Matchup, How to Watch, Game Thread
UN-DE-FEA-TED *clap, clap, clap-clap-clap* UN-DE-FEA-TED! The Chicago Cubs took down Corbin Burnes and the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the 2023 regular season on Thursday. It was a beautiful day at Wrigley Field and a quintessential 2023 Cubs win. In other words, if the Cubs are going to have a common “type” of win this season, it’s going to look an awful lot like that (low scoring, good pitching, good defense). At least until Seiya Suzuki and Matt Mervis (who reached base five times in his 2023 debut last night) are crushing dingers in the middle of the order. Of course, neither guy is in the Cubs lineup today, so let’s see what David Ross has in store for us this afternoon.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Nico Hoerner, 2B
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Ian Happ, LF
- Cody Bellinger, CF
- Trey Mancini, RF
- Edwin Rios, DH
- Eric Hosmer, 1B
- Nick Madrigal, 3B
- Tucker Barnhart, C
With another righty on the mound this afternoon, the top of the Cubs lineup looks identical to yesterday (1-5, actually). But that’s where things change. Today, Edwin Rios is getting his first start of the season, but so is Nick Madrigal, with the former DH-ing and the latter covering third as he did all spring.
If Madrigal is going to carve out a role for himself this season, it’s necessarily going to have to be at third base.
But even with Rios at DH and Hosmer at first, Trey Mancini stays in the lineup by way of right field. That’s good. He should be in the lineup everyday. And when Seiya Suzuki returns, right field won’t be an option. And that should mean fewer chances for Hosmer, Madrigal, Rios, and Wisdom (3B, DH, 1B). Not Mancini.
Tucker Barnhart is also getting his first start of the season, catching Justin Steele. No one really has “good” numbers against Brandon Woodruff. And I don’t expect much out of Barnhart. But Yan Gomes was 0-8 with 5Ks.
Milwaukee Brewers Lineup:
- Mike Brosseau, 3B
- Willy Adames, SS
- Christian Yelich, LF
- William Contreras, C
- Luke Voit, DH
- Rowdy Tellez, 1B
- Brian Anderson, RF
- Owen Miller, 2B
- Joey Wiemer, CF
Milwaukee Brewers: Brandon Woodruff, RHP
Although the Cubs got through one of the toughest pitchers they’ll face all season on Thursday, Brandon Woodruff is right there with Burnes. And while Woodruff’s 2022 season (3.05 ERA, 27 starts) was not quite as dominant as 2021 (2.56 ERA, 30 starts), he’s still an extremely difficult matchup, who struck out over 30% of the batters he faced last season.
Speaking of last season … while Woodruff has been effectively split neutral for his career, he actually had pretty extreme reverse splits last season, with righties (.308 wOBA) hitting him a lot better than lefties (.252 wOBA). Needless to say, today’s Cubs lineup will have their work cut out for them.
- Happ: 6-29, 2 HR, 3BB, 9Ks
- Hoerner: 1-13, 2BB, 3Ks
- Hosmer: 0-10, 0BB, 2Ks
- Swanson: 3-8, 1HR, 1BB, 1K
- Gomes: 0-8, 0BB, 5Ks
It’s a shame Suzuki isn’t healthy today, because he’s a staggering 5-6 with two doubles, a homer, and a walk against Woodruff for his career.
Chicago Cubs: Justin Steele, LHP
Justin Steele had his big breakout season as a starter last year, so he’s nothing to prove in that respect. But this season is still about repeating that success, establishing himself as the mid+ rotation starter we know he can be, and staying healthy. Steele had a slow start to the spring (including literally being scratched from his first start), but he finished strong with 6.0 scoreless innings against the Royals on Sunday.
- Yelich: 5-13, 2 BB, 5K
- Adames: 4-13, 2B, HR, 3BB, 5K
- Tellez: 1-7, 1BB, 3K
- Caratini: 1-10, 1BB, 6K
- Brosseau: 1-12, 0BB, 5K
How to Watch:
Chicago Cubs (1-0) vs Milwaukee Brewers (0-1) at 1:20 CT on Marquee Sports Network, 670 The Score
META: Remember how I was like “Oh, yeah, I’ll totally bump this post up and make it the game thread now that we’re having only one dedicated “pre-game” post, but then didn’t? Well, I’m totally gonna this time. Sorry about that! I was already at Wrigley, and I forgot.