Skip to main content

Cubs at Brewers Series Preview: Two Teams Heading in Opposite Directions

The Cubs travel to Milwaukee to square off against the Brewers for the second time this year as they look to even the score after dropping 2 of 3 at Wrigley.
Cubs Brewers

Photo: Chicago Tribune

The Cubs enter today's series against the Brewers after an inexcusable performance in Pittsburgh against a team most believe will finish with the worst record in the league. Chicago took game one behind a gutsy outing from Jake Arrieta, three home runs, and Craig Kimbrel's first career five-out save in the regular season. Nevertheless, they would go on to lose the next two games by a combined score of 15-3. Sunday's 7-1 defeat marked the fourth time in the past five games the Cubs scored two runs or fewer. Here are some hard-to-believe statistics from the weekend set:

  • 47 men left on base
  • 29 strikeouts
  • Four walks
  • 24 for 100 at the plate (.240 average)

  • 5.67 ERA
  • 30 hits allowed
  • 16 batters walked

Needless to say, their pitiful output was a team effort. The Cubs now find themselves one game under .500, hoping to bounce back against a Milwaukee club that has won four of their last five games, including two of three against division rival St. Louis. The Cubs might be fortunate enough to face the Brewers without left fielder Christian Yelich (back stiffness) and third baseman Travis Shaw (shin contusion). Both are considered day-to-day heading into the series opener. With a trio of righties awaiting them, look for the Cubs to get as many left-handed hitters into the lineup as possible.

Offensive Futility

The Cubs' offense has been historically bad to start the year. Here's where they rank in various categories:

  • AVG (30th)
  • OBP (30th)
  • OPS (29th)
  • Hits (29th)
  • SLG (28th)
  • RBI (27th)
  • TB (27th)

Keep in mind, two of the teams who rank below them in most of these statistics, the Mets and Nationals, have both played three fewer games because of postponements due to COVID-19. You get the point. Something's got to give and there's no time like the present.

Game One: Adbert Alzolay vs. Freddy Peralta

Adbert Alzolay (0-1, 7.20 ERA) takes the mound against the Brewers for the second time in six days. In this last start, the righty allowed four runs, three of which were in the first inning, on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks in five innings of a loss. Alzolay is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in two games (one start) against the Brewers.

He will be opposed, for the second consecutive time, by Milwaukee's Freddy Peralta, who has the fourth-best strikeouts per nine innings (12.3) of any pitcher since he debuted in 2018, trailing only Chris Sale, Gerrit Cole, and Max Scherzer. Peralta has given up three hits, walked seven, and struck out 14 in his first seven innings over one relief appearance and one start. In seven career games (two starts) against the Cubs, Peralta is 3-1 with a 3.78 ERA. He has 26 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.

Scroll to continue

Recommended Articles

First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM CDT (Marquee and 670 The Score).

Use the code ONTAP at sign-up!*Valid for gamblers 21 and over in Illinois and Iowa

Use the code ONTAP at sign-up!*Valid for gamblers 21 and over in Illinois and Iowa

Game Two: Kyle Hendricks vs. Brandon Woodruff

Photo: Chicago Sun-Times

Photo: Chicago Sun-Times

In game two, Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 3.00 ERA) toes the rubber against Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 2.45 ERA) for the second time this year. In their last matchup, Hendricks went six scoreless innings in a no-decision while Woodruff held the Cubs to one hit in seven shutout innings and was working on a 56-pitch no-hitter at the end of the sixth.

In the last two years combined, Hendricks has compiled an ERA of 1.08 in three starts against the Brewers and looks to continue that same success on Tuesday night. On the active roster, Ian Happ, who's gone 2-8 with one home run and three RBIs, has been the most successful Cubs hitter against Woodruff. His ability to set the table will go a long way in determining his team's offensive production for the night.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM CDT (Marquee and 670 The Score).

Game Three: Jake Arrieta vs. Corbin Burnes

Jake Arrieta (2-0, 2.25 ERA) draws the assignment of Corbin Burnes (0-1, 0.73 ERA) for the final game of the series. As previously discussed, Arrieta picked up a road win on Thursday against the Pirates, going six innings and giving up two runs. He's 4-1 with a 2.76 ERA in seven career starts against Milwaukee.

Burnes is the first pitcher in history to have back-to-back starts of six or more innings with no walks and one hit allowed. The Cubs will attempt to put an end to his impressive streak. In their careers, Jason Heyward and Joc Pederson both have two RBIs against Burnes while Ian Happ has gone two for three with one RBI.

First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 PM CDT (Marquee and 670 The Score).

What's On Tap Next?

Following the Milwaukee series, the Cubs are off on Thursday before returning home to face Atlanta on Friday afternoon. Games one and two will begin at 1:20 PM CDT while game three is slated to start at 6:08 PM CDT. Both teams have yet to announce their starters. As always, you can check out all the latest Cubs content, articles, podcasts, and more at Cubs On Tap.