The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are scheduled to meet for the first of a three-game series at Wrigley Field. The Brewers are coming off a losing series against the Minnesota Twins over the week. They opened up the season at home with a win and two losses. Milwaukee didn’t come close on Sunday. The Twins won the rubber matchup with a blowout victory of 8-2. Michael Pineda was sharp through 5 innings with 4 hits and no earned runs conceded.
Conversely, Adrian Houser and the Brewers’ bullpen combined to allow 7 earned runs. Houser wasn’t terrible, as he lasted 5 innings with 4 hits and 2 earned runs allowed. However, the bullpen didn’t provide much help, and the Brewers had to settle with one win in three games. The Cubs are 2-1 on the seasons after winning a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are awfully lucky to win on Sunday. The Pirates recorded 7 hits against the Cubs’ 3 hits.
That’s going to happen in baseball, and it’s frustrating for teams and handicappers alike. In any case, Zach Davies pitched a strong game, going 5.2 innings with 4 hits and 2 earned runs conceded. Davies was backed by a couple of early runs in the 1st inning, which set the tone for the rest of the game. The Pirates added a run in the top of the 8th to make it a 4-3 game, but that was as close as they got to the Cubs. It was a valiant effort by the Pirates, who are looking to show improvement after struggling in 2020.
The Cubs finished atop the NL Central with a record of 34-26 last season. They cleared the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds by three games. However, the Cubs were bounced by the Miami Marlins in the Wild Card Round in two games. The loss signaled the departure of Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, Jon Lester, and Yu Darvish. Darvish was traded to the San Diego Padres for a list of prospects.
The Cubs aren’t in full rebuild mode, but aren’t equipped to deal with the Padres, Dodgers, and Braves in the National League. We may see the Cubs sell at the deadline if this season is going sideways for them. Former Pirate, Trevor Williams, who is looking for a fresh start with the Cubs, is expected to get the nod. The Brewers will send out veteran Brett Anderson to the bump. Anderson is entering his second-year with the Brewers after his second stint with the Athletics in 2018 and 2019. Head below for our free Brewers vs. Cubs pick on April 5, 2021.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs MLB Betting Odds:
Brewers vs. Cubs Prediction:
The Brewers were able to get a serviceable season out of Brett Anderson last season. Anderson posted an ERA of 4.21 and 1.28 WHIP through ten starts in the shortened 2020 campaign. That’s about consistent with what Anderson has done in his career. The 33-year-old veteran has been a model of consistency since entering the majors in 2009. He’s not the most talked about pitcher, but Anderson is capable of getting it done.
Anderson owns a career ERA of 4.06 and 1.33 WHIP through 198 games and 1044.1 innings. Having said that, the Cubs are not a team that he’s been excited to play in the past. At least not the current group of Cubs, who have tattooed Anderson throughout his career. The Cubs are hitting .380 with a .439 OBP against Anderson through 52 at-bats. Kris Bryant, Jake Marisnick, and Ian Happ have all had a lot of success against him.
Wrigley can be a tricky place to pitch with wins that typically swirl, and Anderson has yet to figure out the key to success in Wrigleyville. Anderson has a 7.81 ERA and 1.98 WHIP at Wrigley with a record of 2-3 in 27.2 innings pitched. The Rogers Centre in Toronto is the only other facility in the majors that Anderson has struggled more at. The Cubs should be able to find some success against Anderson on Monday night.
A change of scenery was likely best for Trevor Williams. Williams had a promising 2018 with an ERA of 3.11 and 1.18 WHIP. However, he faded his next two years, with an ERA of 5.38 and 6.18 ERA most recently in 2020. That was the end of the road for Williams in Pittsburgh, but he gets a new opportunities with the Cubs. Reports in spring training have indicated that Williams has been focused and sharp. He posted an ERA of 1.32 and 0.95 WHIP through 13.2 innings to earn a job in the rotation. I’m going to give Williams and the Cubs the nod here.