17 April 2017
The Cubs and Brewers will kick off a three-game series today at Wrigley Field with NL Central standings in odd conditions.
John Lackey (1-1) will start for the Cubs against Chase Anderson (1-0) for the Brewers in game one at 7:05 p.m. on Monday night.
Brett Anderson (1-0) for the Cubs will face Jimmy Nelson (1-0) in game two at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday night.
The electric Kyle Hendricks (1-1) will start for the Cubs on Wednesday against Tommy Milone (1-0) in game three at 1:20 p.m.
The Cubs are coming off of a series against the Pirates in which they were swept at home to fall to 6-6 on the year. The bullpen stole the show with an awful performance to become the big storyline going into this series.
The Cub’s bullpen blew three leads in three games to disappoint three sell-out crowds at the Friendly Confines. The starting pitching was good, but there will be a particularly watchful eye on the back end during the next few weeks.
Going into this game, the Cubs have lost four of five while the Brewers have won five of their last six. With this, the NL Central standings look a little odd at this point.
Currently, they are as below:
- Reds: 8-5
- Brewers: 7-6
- Pirates: 6-6
- Cubs: 6-6
- Cardinals: 3-9
If you would have asked nearly anyone what this division would look like two weeks into the season, I assure no one would have told you anything close to this. However, I think that this bodes well for the Cubs.
The Cardinals are playing bad. They may not be a bad team, but they are off to a slow start; that almost always causes problems in the clubhouse or in players’ minds leading to long seasons. It is fun to say though – the last place St. Louis Cardinals.
Realistically, the Pirates should be the Cub’s biggest threat this season. The Reds and Brewers, while off to nice starts this season, are not legitimate teams and that will rear its ugly head by June at the absolute latest.
The Reds are scoring an absurd amount of runs (62: second best in the MLB) and playing very well on the road (5-1 away from Great American Ballpark). However there is surely a drop-off in success to come for them.
In fact, the Reds just lost three of four in their last series (at home) . . . to the Brewers. The Brewers outscored the Reds by 10 runs in the series, scoring less than five runs only once in the finale.
Eric Thames has been a huge story for the Brewers this year (I would know, I have him on my fantasy team). After spending three seasons tearing up the Korean League, Thames came back to the MLB this year and has started the season on an absolute tear.
Through 13 games, Thames already has 6 HRs, 11 RBIs and is hitting .368 – that’s how you make a return to the Show. This is something to keep an eye on throughout this series, as Thames will face a much better Cubs rotation than the Red’s one he faced over the weekend.
The Cub’s lineup will look to pick things up after lacking big hits in a big way during the series against the Pirates. During the game on Sunday especially, the Cubs couldn’t string hits together and score. The only run they scored came on a two-out double from a pinch hitter that went off the glove of the defender.
We’ll see if the Cubs can heat back up and at least get a series win after losing their first series of the season. Kyle Hendricks’s performance on Wednesday is one to watch as he tries to get back in rhythm after two less than exceptional starts to open the season – look for him to throw well facing a less good Brewers lineup.