Cubs @ Brewers: Series Preview (6/11-6/13)

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The Cubs just completed a 4-2 home swing against the Pirates and Phillies. They now sit at 37-25 just a half-game behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. Chicago now heads north for a showdown with said Brewers at Wrigley North (formal name Miller Park) starting on Monday night.

The Brew Crew has struggled a bit of late going 4-6 in their last ten games. The bullpen has been the driving force behind their strong start to the season. Milwaukee has a league-best 2.53 ERA out of the pen, the starting pitching ERA of 4.17 is 18th in MLB. Clearly getting runs on the board early is a key to beating this team. Offensively, Jesus Aguilar is having a huge year with 11 homers and a .905 OPS in 2018. Noted Cubs killer, Eric Thames is also ready to come off the DL, so expect a big hit from him.

Seasons aren't usually decided in June, whatever happens in this three-game set there is a long way to go in 2018. The Cubs have played well against the Brewers this year, posting a 7-1 record. Eight more games are still left to be played between the two teams after this series. All that being said, it should be some exciting action as these two teams battle it out the next three days.

Watch/Listen

Monday: 7:10 pm CT on MLB Network/NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Tuesday: 7:10 pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Wednesday: 1:10 pm CT on WGN/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

2. Jason Heyward (L) RF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
7. Javier Baez (R) 2B
8. Addison Russell (R) SS
9. Jose Quintana (R) P

Brewers

1. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
3. Ryan Braun (R) LF
4. Jesus Aguilar (R) 1B
5. Hernan Perez (R) 3B
6. Jonathan Villar (S) 2B
7. Erik Kratz (R) C
8. Orlando Arcia (R) SS
9. Junior Guerra (R) P

Bullpen Usage

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via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Junior Guerra: Junior Guerra has thrown 4,162 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2015 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph) and Sinker (94mph), also mixing in a Splitter (87mph) and Slider (84mph).

His fourseam fastball generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has essentially average velo, has slightly less natural movement than typical and has some added backspin. His sinker generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker, results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has slightly above average velo. His splitter has surprising cut action, is slightly firmer than usual and has movement that suggests a lot of backspin. His slider results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has some two-plane movement.

Sean's Note: Guerra had an excellent season in 2016 then lost his rotation spot in a disastrous 2017. He appears to have returned to 2016 form with a 2.83 ERA so far in 2018. He is still a fly ball pitcher, but has reduced his home run rate from last years rough season. He pitched well against the Cubs in April allowing one run in six innings in a Chicago win.

Chase AndersonChase Anderson has thrown 10,487 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2013 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph), also mixing in a Change using a Circle Change grip (83mph), Curve (77mph), Sinker (92mph) and Cutter (89mph).

His fourseam fastball has essentially average velo, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has some added backspin. His change has an obvious armside fade and has a lot of backspin. His curve has a sharp downward bite. His sinker has little sinking action compared to a true sinker and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers. His cutter results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' cutters and has good "rise".

Sean's Note: Anderson has not had a good year after an excellent 2017 season. His 4.57 ERA is actually significantly lower than his 5.81 FIP. Another pitcher who gets his outs in the air, the righty has been badly hurt by the long ball. 13 allowed so far in 2018 is only one less than his total allowed all of 2017.

Jhoulys ChacinJhoulys Chacin has thrown 18,069 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2009 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, The World Baseball Classic and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Slider (79mph), Sinker (90mph) and Fourseam Fastball (91mph), also mixing in a Change(83mph). He also rarely throws a Curve (76mph) and Cutter (88mph).

His slider comes in below hitting speed, sweeps across the zone and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His sinker has slight armside run, has slightly below average velo and has some natural sinking action. His fourseam fastball has some natural sinking action and has slightly below average velo. His change has slight cut action and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups. His curve is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' curves, has little depth, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves, has slight glove-side movement and has slightly below average velo. His cutter (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 3 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' cutters, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' cutters, has some natural sink and has strong cutting action.

Sean's Note: Chacin has bounced around, but has found a home in Milwaukee this season. He has had some element of luck with his 3.58 ERA. He is allowing hard contact on 40% of balls put in play against him, combined with a low batting average on balls in play is a red flag. Hopefully, that luck changes against the Cubs Wednesday.

 

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Comments

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  • I'd like to see 2 out of 3 here although anything other than a Brewers sweep is fine in the big scheme of things. I like how Q has looked lately so tonight's matchup should be a good one but the story of the series will be how the Cubs offense fairs against the Brewers starting pitching. Go Cubs!

  • Almost have to think the Cubs gotta be in their heads, especially after that outstanding pitching against them the last series, maybe?
    No?
    I sure hope this stays professional. Have no idea why but something in me is pointing to this getting ugly......quick. Brewer folk have to be getting tired of the Wrigley North designation too and if we get the first game I’m going to be watching real close.

  • I'd like to see a good, old-fashioned smackdown in Wrigley North to put a damper on the Brewers' hopes and end any ideas of loading up for a stretch run. They are hanging around too long for my comfort.

    I've been a big Baez fan. I've said he is still frustratingly inconsistent but the hot streaks are getting longer and the cold snaps shorter. Time to put the current funk behind us.

    Did everyone remember to vote for the All-Star Game? I have, and you can vote up to 35 times, but we need help. I admit to some homer bias, but I would like to Javy there. Could you imagine him in the HR Derby? It might fix his swing. :)

    Vote early, vote often, vote Javy!

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Looks like you got the spank you wanted! 2 more would be fine by me....

  • This might be my favorite and best lineup joe has put together in awhile. Need Q to continue his dominant performance vs the brewers. I am expecting some good hard old school baseball to be played in this series.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I want to see a demoralizing beat-down tonight, and I had forgotten about Q's domination of the Brew Crew. Thanks for reminding us.

    Cubs 134, Brewers -3.

    Da Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    You got your wish. The brew crew and counsel played this like game 7. Guerra had like 12 pitches and was mowing. One more Guerra inning would of made things closer. Used top pen guys for many pitches and lost badly. Cubs didn't even use one of their top 3 relievers. Prediction; morrow pitches mop up on Wednesday.

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    We are Milwaukee's Detroit Pistons--although much nicer and with much more class. They could be our Cardinals too. There always is one team that just can beat another and that team has to figure out a way to overcome them. The problem for the Brew Crew is that we are so young that even in 5 years most of our players will be in their prime.
    Let's sweep!

  • I’m done with Russell, he hasn’t improved one bit since he came up and his attitude seems so blasé.

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    It’s all good White Castle.....keep the faith man!

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Wendy’s too!

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    Hahahahahhaha ^^^^^^^^^^^^5’s

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    It’s nice to see Albert A knock in Javy for a change. Go Cubs!

  • Roid Braun playing some D.

  • Hope the momentum didn't just shift,because hader will be in soon

    that bryant out on the bases and contreras getting robbed of a hr are critical

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    Patience Kyle. If he doesn’t throw strikes let him walk you. Scwarbs had impressed me so much this year.

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    I mean has.
    Blown call by the ump—that should have been ball 4!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Do umps just not like Schwarber, like he did something to upset one when he used to catch or something, and now they're conspiring against him?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    No one will ever convince me that technology can't do a 1) better and 2) a more consistent job than a human, in determining ball-strike calls. This isn't 1890 any longer. Works extremely well in tennis and MLB replay reviews.
    'Human element' was meant to refer to the players - not the 'spare parts'.

  • Man I wish the cubs coulda got one across, the brewers were crumbling under the pressure. hader was rattled after that heyward hit then knebel came in and couldn't throw a strike. That strike call was wrong!!! That was a ball man

  • In reply to bolla:

    Blah ... Blah ... Blah ... Blah

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    Robo umps!! Thst was a game changer.

  • I don’t care how exciting people think javy
    Y is, that a bat is just pure selfishness. We need base runners not a hot dog.. Jeez. Not one ball in the zone.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    U think Baltimore will take him and Russell for machado?

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Exactly what I thought.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    No one should have had to 'tell him' to take a pitch in that situation. 2-0, tie game and leading off an inning!
    Complete selfishness.
    All star? Hardly.

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    I have been watching baseball since the 1950’s and I’ve never seen more pitchers throw 95+. That doesn’t mean they don’t get hit but the sheer numbers are impressive.

  • That was either an extremely selfish AB by Baez- or a lack of baseball acumen. I think we know his baseball acumen is pretty high.
    Baez plays for himself at times. He had no business swinging (and missing of course) at that 2-0 pitch, leading off an inning, in a tie game.
    Five pitches, none close to the strike zone, and he can't even hit a foul ball.
    He has no business on the all star team. Save your breaths.

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    Now that’s how you hit a HR! How about a few more too.

  • Javy!!!!’

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Walks are good Javy!!!!!! Now steal home.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Walk. Steal. Hit. Screw the hero ball.

  • Play Zobrist the rest of the series at second and put showboat on the bench to watch a professional ball player. Let’s vote Zoe into the all star game..

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    It’s such a pleasure to watch Zo bat. He’s a pure professional. He stands quietly in the box and although he bends over he seems so relaxed. He doesn’t get excited about a 2 strike count. I wish others would watch and learn, just as I wish they would watch Rizzo choke up when he gets 2 strikes. I know the game isn’t over but we do know how to start clearing the stadium.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    It is a pleasure to watch Zo bat, but it is also exciting to watch Baez play. Hardly ever a dull moment when Baez is involved. Unfortunately we must take the good with the bad. When its all said and done, the game is hardly ever boring when Baez is playing.

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    In reply to clarkAddson:

    You're right--it's hard to take our eyes off him. When he's playing he often captures our attention, with more good than bad, always interesting. I wish that Russell had gone on a pitch earlier and could have seen what Javy would have done.

  • JHey. Wow. He’s ballin’!

  • Headed towards great win and First place. Great bullpen work. Yes, Javy can be frustrating at times, but still a "big part" of Cubs. I'll take him on my team anytime! Let's get two more! Brewer TV announcers are whining.

  • In reply to Ringer:

    I loved the line when Maddon was arguing: "the Cubs are used to getting it their way.." What bozo announcers.

  • Heyward is hitting .281 on the season,crushed the ball on that last hit and baez drew a crucial walk wow

  • In reply to bolla:

    That Baez walk was so awesome. Maybe even better than the Heyward double was the game tying RBI single against the toughest lefty reliever in the game.

  • Rosario has that preternatural calm. He's got to stick. Great pick-up.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Cutter, cutter and maybe another cutter with a 95mph forehead show me fastball. I think he definitely has two different cutters. Gleaming with confidence in his secondary pitches. Keeps fastball in his pocket nicely.

  • I'd rather they had scored 5 runs in the 7th and coasted, but I'll take it. Great effort to win this one. Hearing those announcers brag about the #1 bullpen in the NL even as the Cubs were taking them apart was quite enjoyable.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I like how they used the Milwaukee Brewers pen up and still one handly

  • 3 Stars for:
    1) Q - 6 innings and only 2 runs, that's 3 straight good games from him. He has raised his game this year, thank the gods.
    2) #Heart&Soul with the go-ahead tater in the 11th, and just missed an upper-deck job against Hader. Wow!
    3) The BP was huge again tonite, as they have been virtually every game this year. They look very confident out there.

    And oh yeah, even after the Brewers announcers were ragging on Javy's not so selective strike zone all night, he draws a walk and proceeds to torture the living bejebus out of that Brewers RP. So Javy. I voted for him 5 times for the All-Star game, BP. Let's get the word out.

    https://www.mlb.com/all-star/ballot

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Good star choices!

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