Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers (73-57) at Chicago Cubs (69-61)

In Series Previews by berselius52 Comments

I guess I can get off my lazy but and bang out a preview for what’s likely the most significant series to date this year, with the Cubs four games back going into the series. The surging Cubs took care of business in a soft stretch of the schedule, only to see the Beers bang out an 8 game winning streak against two division leaders and the frustrating Padres. At least they were polite enough to get swept by the Dodgers beforehand.

While there were a few frustrating moments along the way, the overall takeaway against this 7-3 stretch of bad teams was positive. Javier Assad continues to look strong after stepping up to fill in the rotation following Stroman’s odd injury and Smyly’s Wile E. Coyote-ing. Jordan Wicks shook off some initial jitters to look very strong in his MLB debut, and Keegan Thompson struck out five in two innings after his long-term abscence. Who knows if he’s fixed or not, but if the Cubs get even 80% of what these guys have shown so far, their reinforcements are hitting the club at just the right time. The bullpen was a shitshow three months ago, but I feel pretty good with a backend of Alzolay, Merryweather, Leiter, Cuas, (and resurgent Thompson)? *knocks on all the wood*. I guess losing Fulmer technically hurts a bit, but I was never the hugest fan (dying laughing).

For the Beers it’s tough to point to any one player in particular as to why they’ve taken off in the second half of the year. Some of it could just be guys getting healthier. Since July 1, Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes have each posted a sub-3.00 ERA in 19 combined starts for a combined 3.6 WAR. William Contreras, who learned how to frame in his brief time with the Crew, has posted 2 WAR in that stretch thanks to a .374 wOBA and great defensive numbers. Even Christian Yelich has broken somewhat out of his years long slump with a .361 wOBA.

Team Leaders

Switching to actual numbers on the year!


  • OBP: Yelich (.370)
  • ISO: Carlos Santana (.204)
  • HR: Willy Adames (21)
  • R+RBI: Yelich (156)
  • wRC+: Yelich (122)
  • BSR: Yelich (7.6)
  • Defense: Contreras (15.7)
  • SP K/9: Peralta (11.46)
  • SP BB/9: Adrian Houser (2.70)
  • SP FIP: Houser (3.86)
  • RP K/9: Devin Williams (13.50)
  • RP BB/9: Joel Payamps (1.67)
  • RP FIP: Williams (2.52)
  • WAR: Yelich (3.9)


  • OBP: Bellinger (.365)
  • ISO: Wisdom (.296)
  • HR: Wisdom/Bellinger (20)
  • R+RBI: Belli (144)
  • wRC+: Belli (140)
  • BSR: Hoerner (7.1)
  • Defense: Dansby (14.5)
  • SP K/9: Steele (8.67)
  • SP BB/9: Cyle (1.55)
  • SP FIP: Steele (3.18)
  • RP K/9: Merryweather (12.33)
  • RP BB/9: Alzolay (1.40)
  • RP FIP: Alzolay (2.70)
  • WAR: Dansby (3.9)

Who isn’t available?

Michael Fulmer is out indefinitely with the dreaded forearm strain diagnosis. I haven’t seen much new on Stroman and his rib cartilage issue lately either, and would be surprised to see him back anytime soon. Rule 5 guy Nick Burdi can’t catch a break this year – he was on his way back before an emergency appendectomy in late May, and since then he’s been diagnosed with some kind of ulnar nerve irritation. Given his status as a rule five guy this could just be David Patton disease but who knows. Brad Boxberger started a rehab assignment with Iowa last week, but given how long he’s been on the shelf it’s not clear that he can make an impact right away.

For the Beers, Adrian Houser left Sunday’s game with forearm tightness. The Cubs won’t face him this week but this could be a big loss to the Brewers rotation if it ends up being a serious injury. Rehabbing starter Julio Teheran is rehabbing a pitch injury in AAA. Yet another injured starter, Aaron Ashby, is rehabbing from shoulder surgery performed back in April and likely won’t be stretched out enough to start this year, but could show up in the pen before all is said and done. Recent CF callup Sal Frelick, who has looked good in limited time, is dealing with a nagging hamstring injury.

Pitching Matchups, game times

2023 K/9, BB/9, ERA, FIP listed for all starters
Great to see the Cubs current three best guys line up for this series, and that they avoid Cub kryptonite Freddy Peralta. Not that these other guys are slouches either.

Monday: Wade Miley, LHP (6.06, 2.77, 3.18, 4.55) vs Jameson Taillon, RHP (7.78, 2.57, 5.60, 4.64), 7:05 PM CT

Tuesday: Corbin Burnes, RHP (9.11, 3.19, 3.65, 4.00) vs Justin Steele, LHP (8.67, 1.96, 2.80, 3.18), 7:05 PM CT

Woden’s day: Bronson Arborvitae, RHP (10.85, 2.38, 2.65, 4.42) vs Cyle Hendricks, RHP (5.87, 1.55, 3.80, 3.97) 1:20 PM CT

A bit disappointing that Miley and Hendricks did not match up, that would be quite the Weak-Contact-Off.

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  1. andcounting

    No Cubs pitcher gets worse defense than Taillon, but I can’t imagine a pitcher allowing it to do more damage than Taillon does.

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  2. Perkins

    ⚾️ Immaculate Grid 149 8/9:
    Rarity: 233

    BOS 3K hits was tough after I used Beltre for LAD.

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  3. Rice Cube


    I hadn’t considered the military service but like Bonds he just walked so much that he couldn’t amass the hits, unlike say a Hank Aaron who would’ve gotten 3000 hits even without all the bombs

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  4. BVS

    ⚾️ Immaculate Grid 149 7/9:
    Rarity: 339

    Also got tripped up by Ted Williams

      Quote  Reply


  5. Rice Cube

    Here’s the waiver order, unfortunately a few WC contenders will get dibs before the Cubs

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  6. BVS

    Matt Moore
    Harrison Bader
    Randall Grichuk
    Tyler Anderson
    Jose Cisnero
    Hunter Renfroe
    Dominic Leone
    Reynaldo Lopez
    Carlos Carrasco
    Mike Clevinger

    All on waivers

    Cots Contracts suggests the Cubs are about $10M below the CBT, so they could afford any of these guys.

    Some enticing names on the list. Saving the Angels from the CBT doesn’t bother me, because I think they’re out if the Ohtani race anyway.

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