Your second place Milwaukee Brewers wrap up a 9-game road trip with a trip to Miller Park South to start this week. Winners of 5 of their last 6, the Brewers will look to continue that hot streak in Chicago. Luckily, they're playing a .500 team below them in the standings, which is in no way a product of small sample sizes early in the season.
The Brewers stole the opening game of their last three-game set against the defending World Series champions, walking off on a wild pitch in a low-scoring 2-1 game. Chicago's bats woke up in the next two games, though, powering them to a series win that closed out a disappointing first homestand for the Brewers.
Monday, 7:05 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Chase Anderson vs. John Lackey
Now 38, Lackey is as grumpy-looking as ever, but he's still pitching well to start the year. After striking out 7 and allowing 3 earned runs over 6 innings in his first start, Lackey took a tough luck loss in his most recent start -- he struck out 10 Dodgers over 6 innings and only allowed one run, but that was enough for the Cubs to lose in a night they got shut out. Despite the high strikeout numbers to start the year, his game is still more about inducing weak contact than racking up the Ks. So far this season, Lackey has induced a groundball rate of 44.8% and a line-drive rate of just 17.2%.
Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin+ - Jimmy Nelson vs. Brett Anderson
We missed a possible Anderson-Anderson duel by one day. Brett Anderson, as you may remember, started against the Brewers 10 days ago, pitching 5.2 innings and striking out 4 while only allowing 1 run. He followed that up by pitching 5 shutout innings with only 3 hits allowed against the Dodgers on April 13th, but he did walk 4 and only struck out 2 in that outing. We covered Anderson a little more extensively in the first Cubs series preview, and not much has changed over only two starts, other than the fact he isn't injured yet. Joe Maddon has limited him to 90 pitches in each of his first two starts, so that may be the mark to watch this week, too.
Wednesday, 1:20 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin/MLB Network - Tommy Milone vs. Kyle Hendricks
The Brewers actually hit last year's ERA king/dark wizard well when they saw him on April 8th, clubbing two home runs off of him for 4 runs in 6 innings. Unfortunately for the Brewers, Milone also started that game, surrendering 9 hits and 4 runs in just 4 innings before giving way to Jhan Marinez and Brent Suter, who combined for 7 runs allowed (6 earned) in 3.1 innings. Hendricks was a bit better in his second start, but it still wasn't the Hendricks we saw last year, only going 5 innings and giving up 3 runs in a loss to Pittsburgh.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference