Brewers vs. Cubs Series Preview (8/30-9/1)

The Cubs head back home after completing a perfect road trip. Sure it was just three games, but the Cubs road woe issues can finally be put to rest after beating three very talented pitchers away from the Friendly Confines. Two of those three starters had been throwing the ball very well heading into their matchup against the Cubs. Jacob deGrom hadn’t allowed more than three runs in a game since about when the Cubs much talked about road woes began on May 17. The series was most impressive from the Cubs.

Now the Northside nine head back to Wrigley for a chance to effectively end the Brewers NL Central’s hopes and turn the division chase into a two team affair. The Brewers have been struggling to keep pace with the suddenly red hot Cardinals and the Cubs. The injuries and pitching staff issues finally appear to be catching up to a team that has had similar offensive problems as the Cubs. The Brewers are in fact worse in those much dreaded RISP situations that has been much talked about with the Cubs in 2019.

Noted Brewers slayer Jose Quintana takes the ball this afternoon to continue the Cubs momentum. The Cubs still have a top five home winning percentage and the Brewers have not won at Wrigley in their last five tries. Next the Cubs send an improving but still searching Cole Hamels to the mound on Saturday. Finally Yu Darvish is given the ball on the series finale and he may be the Cubs best starter currently. This is the final time the Brewers travel to Wrigley in 2019. At least until the regular season ends.


Friday: 1:20 PM CT on WGN/670AM

Saturday: 1:20 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Sunday: 1:20 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM



1. Ian Happ (S) CF
3. Victor Caratini (S) 1B
4. Javier Baez (R) SS
5. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
6. Addison Russell (R) 2B
7. Jonathan Lucroy (R) C
8. David Bote (R) 3B
9. Jose Quintana (R) P


1. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
2. Keston Hiura (R) 2B
3. Christian Yelich (L) RF
4. Ryan Braun (R) LF
5. Yasmani Grandal (S) 1B
6. Manny Pina (R) C
7. Hernan Perez (R) 3B
8. Orlando Arcia (R) SS
9. Chase Anderson (R) P

Bullpen Usage


Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Chase Anderson: Chase Anderson has thrown 14,014 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2013 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph) and Change using a Circle Change grip (83mph), also mixing in a Cutter (91mph), Curve(78mph) and Sinker (93mph).

His fourseam fastball generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has essentially average velo and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers. His change has an obvious armside fade, has a lot of backspin and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups. His cutter has good “rise” and has slightly above average velo. His curve generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ curves, has a sharp downward bite and has primarily 12-6 movement. His sinker has little sinking action compared to a true sinker, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has slightly above average velo. 

Mike’s Note: Chase Anderson has not had a great 2019 with a 4.34 ERA and peripherals to match, but the Cubs have struggled against the righty with less than devastating stuff.  He has a sparkling 2.79 ERA in 67.2 innings of work against his division rival, and perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising if Anderson does it again this afternoon. His 2019 ERA numbers have been bloated by two disaster starts. One of the two occurred less than a fortnight ago when the Nationals torched him for 10 runs in 2.1 innings, and the Cubs have broken through against far more challenging pitchers recently as well.

Zach Davies: Zach Davies has thrown 9,597 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2014 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason, Spring Training and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Sinker (89mph) and Change (80mph), also mixing in a Cutter (87mph). He also rarely throws a Curve (76mph) and Slider (81mph).

His sinker has below average velo, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has slight armside run. His change has below average velo and has slight armside fade. His cutter is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ cutters, has surprisingly little cutting action, has good “rise”, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ cutters and has slightly below average velo. His curve is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ curves and has slightly below average velo. His slider (take this with a grain of salt because he’s only thrown 16 of them in 2019) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ sliders, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ sliders, has below average velo and has some two-plane movement. 

Mike’s Note: The poor man’s Kyle Hendricks has rebounded in 2019 after a disastrous 2018 posting an ERA in the high threes once again. Davies is another starter that frequently confounded Cubs hitters, but this season has seen the Cubs break through against Davies in their last two cracks against the righty with a good change. Davies has surrendered eleven runs in just nine innings of work in those two outings.

Gio GonzalezGio Gonzalez has thrown 32,617 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2008 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason, The World Baseball Classic and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Change (83mph), Fourseam Fastball (90mph) and Sinker (89mph), also mixing in a Curve (75mph).

His change generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ changeups and has some natural sink to it. His fourseam fastball generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers and has slightly below average velo. His sinker results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers. His curve has an exceptional bite, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ curves and has slight glove-side movement. 

Mike’s Note: It does not matter how Gio Gonzalez is throwing prior to facing the Cubs. It does not even really matter how he pitches afterwards. I do know that he will become Sandy Koufax on Sunday afternoon and so none of the above actually matters.




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  • This is one thinned out cubs lineup today I hope they don't giveaway this game because that's what it feels like.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Looks like they’ll need to use this lineup more against the Brewers.:):):)

  • In reply to stix:

    Lol tell Rizzo to take his time who needs him

  • Agree 100 percent, but good start so far. Go Q!

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    Almost everything we could have wanted in the 1st inn. Victor hit the ball hard but maybe if he had done the Javy swim move he could have been safe. Nicky is again 4 Bags and Q looks really good.
    The knock on Nick was that he couldn’t play defense but that hasn’t been the case with us.
    Go Cubs!!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Feet-first may be considered safer but head first lets you dodge a tag and prevents popping off the bag. That said, only the athletes are capable without eating dirt and ending up on the Not Top 10.

  • Nicky 4Bags!!!

  • No KB, no Rizzo, no Heyward, no Contreras in the lineup and the Cubs are winning 54 to 0 after 2 innings. I wonder if this will sink in with Joe. If anyone is in a slump he can replace them for a game or two.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Oooops... winning 5 to 0 after 2 innings

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I like 54-0:):):)

  • In reply to stix:

    Not even Strop could blow that lead... well, probably not

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    The Cubs have only 2 strikeouts in 5 innings and both belong to Javy. Most of the strikeout players are out of the lineup today.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    It might seem like that, but both Bote and Happ actually have a higher K percentage than the people they replaced. And Caratini has a higher K % than Rizzo. So, it might just be pointing to a pitcher that wasn't very good. I think the hanger to Q in the second inning pretty much explains it too.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Javy struck out on ball four both times. Pitches were nowhere close except in the Javy zone. Javy being Javy. I’m guessing Javy sits tomorrow for his rest day.

  • Yeah... me too!

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    How many dingers did 2bags hit to get us to 54?

  • 3 more runners thrown out on the bases. I think they’re close or just hit 60 for the year. Only caratini’s is acceptable. Good thing they have 5-0 lead.

  • Q with 90 pitches after 5 can he go another inning? I’d let him start the 6th.

  • In reply to stix:

    Not sure with the meat coming up. Probably have someone ready, let him pitch to Yelich and then pretty much a one batter at a time approach. No Kimbrel today so Wick is probably the 9th.

  • Q hit hard all day and wasn’t attacking the zone. Surprised no runs yet.hope there’s enough innings in the BP with Kimbrel down and Strop effectively down in a close game.

  • In reply to stix:

    Strop sighting. Joe must think 6-0 is not a close game.

  • Another horrible game by a home plate umpire.

  • Anyone seen anything about who the cubs drop from the 40 man roster to get Zobrist activated?

  • In reply to stix:

    I don't think they made a move yet. They have until Sunday to do it.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I take that back. I think they have to make the move by August 31 for him to be eligible for the post season.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Any idea if that is by midnight tomorrow or before the game starts tomorrow?

  • In reply to stix:

    I saw 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 31.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    At his age, and with missing as much of the season as he has, it'll be interesting to see what he can contribute. He won't necessarily be 2018 Zobrist

  • Javy being Javy. Swings at ball four for the third time today but turns next pitch into a double.

  • Off topic. Tyler Skaggs died from a deadly mix of drugs and alcohol in his system. He had ethanol, fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system.

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    I'm glad we got that extra run last inning, especially with Pedro pitching. I wish him well, but don't trust him pitching--prove me wrong Pedro.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I guess they’ll have to live with one run but another inning the rest of the BP doesn’t need to pitch.

  • q twirls another gem!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Gem might be stretching it but it was workmanlike. Didn’t look like he had his best stuff but the win is in the bank and my fantasy team benefitted from his efforts.

  • If they make the playoffs, I have a hard time seeing Pedro getting on the roster.

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    Great win and we used only a few bullpen arms. They are looking good.

  • W, baby!

    "These go to 12!".

  • Love easily winning a game like this with a very short handed lineup, and a bullpen that wanted to avoid using some of its top relievers. I cringed seeing that pregame lineup, but well played rest day by maddon and the teams analytics guys. Kudos to the bench guys as well for stepping up in Rizzos absence, esp caratini. I honestly don’t think any team in baseball has higher impact injury/restricted list reinforcements then the cubs. Rizzo, zobrist, willson plus they’ve got a number of their best relievers back healthy and fresh for the stretch run. This is the deepest roster they’ve had on paper all year and I look for them to finish the year strong

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    Should the Cubs try to resign Nick, or is this just a mirage? At this point I'm all for it if they can trade a big contract(Heyward). Nick has a lot of heart, just like Javy & Willson. He came over to the Cubs & is a perfect fit. Extend Javy & Willson also. I'd rather have Schwarber on the team over Heyward. Although Heyward's D is better, Kyle seems like a lock for 30hr 80+rbi every season.

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    If the Cubs could trade Heyward and don't sign Hamels how much money do they free up? Enough to sign Nick, but I'd like to see them think bigger and go after Gerrit Cole. He might do what Verlander did for the Astros (I really wish we had signed him, we might have had 1 or 2 more WS wins) or Lester did with us.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Definite YES to the Cubs trying to sign Cole. But with Heyward off the books, that frees up 100mil? Or is it less? Either way it's 20+ mil a year off the books. I could see Javy signing a 6/120 extension. Maybe 130 the highest. But that would negate the Heyward money. Maybe try to extend Willy 2020 offseason. Who else besides Zo is gone after '19? Use that to resign Nick. But then the payroll would be the same, so Ricketts would have to go over cap to sign Cole. Lester is gone after '20 and they'd be right around the cap. Then I'd really like them to go after Betts(if he's still producing) in '21. I may be way off base with this post, but it's just a thought.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    KB isn't going anywhere til FA and I highly doubt Cubs will pony up to sign him to a ridiculous Boras contract. KB is good, but look at Machado(bad contract) & the Harper contract is 50/50 so far. He looks like he's starting to click in philly, but who knows. If he was gold glove then he'd be worth it.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I’d like to sign Castellanos but no on trading Heyward. You’d have to eat a lot of money still to move him and he won’t bring back young players. Schwarber in a package would bring back something useful, hopefully a CF, and Castellanos can move to LF. One thing they have to decide this winter is who can they afford to sign. I have a hard time believing that’s Bryant so I definitely listen to offers. Don’t get me wrong, he’s my favorite player on the team, but he should fetch 3 top 10, near ready, prospects from a good system. Both Atlanta and Houston come to mind as good fits. If you can’t get that you don’t move him. Baez wouldn’t fetch nearly that much and should cost a whole lot less. I’m guessing 6 years between $125-$130 mil sound about right. Bryant is going to be at least 7 years in the $250-$275 range. The idea of plucking some young talent to mix with the likes of Baez and Hoerner is attractive. I’d love Drew Waters from the Braves, kid is going to be a stud maybe as early as 2020 and you’d a want a guy like Ian Anderson in a deal for Bryant as well. Regardless this team has tough choices to make. They have to change the hitter mix to emulate what teams like Houston and LAD are doing. Maybe they can get away without drastic changes, but it’ll cost money. I’m not confident in this ownership wanting to spend it.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    No one takes Heyward at full price even if all the cubs ask for is a bag of balls in return. He’s a sunk cost on or off the team. Next yr Hamels, Zobrist and Morrow are off the books. That saves about it $45M but they need to replace them.

    I guess for that amount they might be able to afford Cole and Castellanos but not sure they could use all$45M. Cubs still have arbitration raises of up to 10-15M to cover.

    It’ll be difficult decision time for FA signings.

  • In reply to stix:

    The Cubs also need to rebuild the bullpen, & they might need to be cheap about how they do it. Strop, Kintzler, Cedeno, & Cishek are free agents. Plus no way the Cubs pick up the options for Morrow, Holland, & Phelps.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Kate in white pinstripes mmmm!

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