The Brewers will kick off their regular season with three road games against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
This marks the second consecutive season Milwaukee will start their season in Chicago, after losing two of three to the Cubs to open the delayed 2022 season.
Let’s take a look at how these two teams will match up this weekend.
Christian Yelich will likely start in left field, with Garrett Mitchell and Brian Anderson rounding out the outfield. Willy Adames will be the starter at shortstop, while Rowdy Tellez will get the start at first. It’s unclear how Craig Counsell will use second base and third base, but it seems likely that some combination of Luis Urias, Brice Turang, and Mike Brosseau will get most of the reps. For what it's worth, Adam McCalvy projects Turang to get the start at second and Urias to get the start at third on Opening Day.
Behind the plate, William Contreras will get most of the catching duties, with Victor Caratini getting some playing time as well. Jesse Winker will start the season primarily at DH, but may get some outfield reps as well. Owen Miller and Luke Voit are the two other bench pieces at Counsell’s disposal.
On the other side, Seiya Suzuki will likely start the season on the injured list, but the Cubs added several key pieces this offseason, including Dansby Swanson, Trey Mancini, Tucker Barnhart, Eric Hosmer, and Cody Bellinger. Returning players we’re likely to see this weekend include Nico Hoerner, Ian Happ, and Patrick Wisdom.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Thursday, March 30 @ 1:20 p.m. CT: Corbin Burnes vs. Marcus Stroman
Saturday, April 1 @ 1:20 p.m. CT: Brandon Woodruff vs. TBD
Sunday, April 2 @ 1:20 p.m CT: Eric Lauer vs. TBD
Chicago still hasn’t announced their starters for Saturday and Sunday, but with Kyle Hendricks currently dealing with an injury, it seems likely that Drew Smyly and Jameson Taillon will get the starts in those two games.
The Brewers have a pretty new-look bullpen ahead of Matt Bush and Devin Williams while the Cubs now have former Brewer Brad Boxberger, who is expected to split the closer role with Michael Fulmer to open the season.
I’ll take Milwaukee winning two out of three, with the team’s first loss coming on Sunday with Lauer on the mound. Lauer had a poor spring training and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see that continue into the regular season.
Burnes and Woodruff are as good as any other pitchers in the league, and I think the cold weather in Chicago will make their arms that much more valuable. If the Brewers can get them some run support, I’d expect Milwaukee to have a successful start to the season.