The 50th year of Brewers baseball sees them make their long-awaited 2020 opening series against the rival Chicago Cubs. In recent seasons, these two teams have battled for playoff position. In the shortened 60-game season, every game will count and none will be more captivating than those against Chicago’s north-side team.
Brewers Starting Pitchers
The Brewers have announced that Brandon Woodruff will start on Opening Day. Last season, Woodruff went 11-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 22 starts, earning his first All-Star selection. Woodruff will look to end the Brewers’ Opening Day pitcher curse, as recent Opening Day starters have either been injured or had less-than-stellar seasons following their start.
Following Woodruff in the rotation will be Corbin Burnes. Burnes, who failed to live up to expectations last season, dazzled in Spring Training and Summer Camp. He has had work done on his eyes and has seen a sports psychologist who has helped him tremendously. In one Summer Camp game, Burnes retired all 12 hitters that he faced. He will look to continue his strong preseason and realize the tremendous potential that he has.
“Fastball” Freddy Peralta will start the final game of the series. Like Burnes, Peralta struggled in 2019, but finished the season strong out of the bullpen and in a few spot starts. He reportedly developed a slider during winterball, which if he can control it will make him an even more dynamic pitcher. He signed a five-year contract with the Brewers this spring, indicating the Brewers have a lot of faith in his potential.
Cubs’ Starting Pitchers
The Cubs will counter the Brewers with Kyle Hendricks, who has had great success against the Brewers in recent seasons. The Cubs’ Game 7 starter of the 2016 World Series is making his first Opening Day start. Last season, he had a 2.04 ERA in 14 starts at Wrigley, making him a tough opponent for the Brewers to start the season.
Yu Darvish will start the second game opposite Corbin Burnes. Darvish was very successful against the Brewers in 2019. He only allowed one run in two starts against the Brewers while racking up 15 strikeouts. Last November, Darvish infamously accused Brewers star Christian Yelich of stealing signs on Twitter. Yelich tweeted the following, “Be better. No one needs help facing you.” The tweet has since been deleted. The Yelich-Darvish back-and-forth goes back several seasons, and this will undoubtedly be a contentious match-up to start the season.
Tyler Chatwood is expected to be the Cubs’ starter for game three. Last season, Chatwood enjoyed some success against the Brewers, posting a 1.26 ERA and 23 strikeouts in just 14.1 innings. In 2017, as a member of the Rockies, Chatwood led the NL with 15 losses. He struggled in 2018 as a starter for the Cubs, but found more success as a relief pitcher last year. It will be interesting to see if his success continues as he transitions back to the starting rotation in 2020.
The Brewers’ Opening Day Roster
Below is the Brewers’ Opening Day roster as tweeted out by the team. Obviously, players like Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich will be in the lineup day in and day out, but fans can expect Craig Counsell to have various lineup cards depending on the day.
The Cubs’ Opening Day Roster
The Cubs’ roster sees many returners who have carried the team in recent seasons. Below is their 30-man roster as tweeted out by the team on July 23: