The Chicago Cubs head to Miller Park in Milwaukee to take on the Brewers at 8:05 pm eastern as Baseball Instincts game of the day.
TV: ESPN and MLB.TV
Radio: Cubs – WGN 720, Brewers – WTMJ 620, and as always you can catch this game and others on Game Day Audio
Here’s a closer fantasy look at the game of the day!
Probable Cubs starting pitcher: RHP Ryan Dempster (0-0, 3.oo era in 2009)
From Sports Network – Going for the Cubs in tonight’s rubber match will be the right-handed Dempster, who won a career-best 17 games last season. Dempster was solid in his season- debut on Tuesday against Houston, but did not factor in the decision, as the Astros pulled out a 3-2 win in extra innings. Dempster, though, allowed just two runs and six hits in six innings.
Dempster, 31, has enjoyed some success against the Brewers in his career, going 8-2 against them with 10 saves and a 2.45 earned run average in 35 games, 13 of which have been starts.
Probable Brewers starting pitcher: RHP Jeff Suppan (0-1, 13.50 era in 2009)
From USA Today – Suppan struggled in his 2009 debut, getting reached for six runs and six hits in four innings of Milwaukee’s 10-6 loss at San Francisco on Tuesday. Two of those hits – a triple by Travis Ishikawa and home run by Aaron Rowand – accounted for five of those runs.
”Those were the two at-bats that really stick out in my mind,” Suppan told the Brewers’ official Web site. ”In those situations, you’ve got to make the pitch. Both of (those) pitches were in a location where they could drive it.”
The right-hander went 1-1 in three starts totaling 15 innings against the Cubs last season, but he had his worst-ever outing against them in an April 30 loss in which he was tagged for eight runs and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings. Suppan is 6-6 with a 3.60 ERA in 19 lifetime starts against Chicago.
Fantasy hitting stud for the Cubs: OF Alfonso Soriano, 3B Aramis Ramirez, and 1B Derrek Lee. It still amazes me as solid as Ramirez has been in his career, how often he gets passed over in drafts and auctions for a clearly inferior 3B. OF Milton Bradley could be a stud or he could sit on his butt after getting a contract with the Cubs this last off season.
Who’s hot: 1B Prince Fielder. Fielder is hitting a pretty modest .238 on the season, however he went 2 for 3 last night, with a hr, a double, 2 rbi’s, a run, and 2 bb. None of the Brewers regulars are very hot right now.
Worth keeping an eye on: 3B Matt Gamel. Gamel came in at #27 on our Baseball Instinct top 100 prospects, and if he can stay at 3B ( a lot believe he will end up in the outfield) and play well early this season, he could find himself in the Brewers plans as they have never been happy with Bill Hall.
Fantasy pitching studs for the Cubs: Dempster, SP Ted Lilly, SP Rich Harden, and SP Carlos Zambrano will tease you into thinking all 4 are stud. Anyone of the 4 could be a stud, but chances are all of them will perform at a level slightly below that of a stud. Harden is the most frustrating of the group, like Kerry Wood and Mark Prior before him, he’s got as much talent as anyone who has stepped on the mound – but he just can’t be trusted to stay healthy from begin to end.
Who’s hot: SP Rich Harden. This is what I’m talking about. In his 1st outing of the season, He went 6 innings and struck out 10. Add that with a win, a quality start, 1 er and 2 walks – thats the kind of numbers of the elite. Let’s see him stay healthy all season.
Worth keeping an eye on: SP Jeff “The Shark” Samardzija. His future role with Cubs is still yet defined, however if he can find his way into the rotation this season. If he does make it into the rotation, he should be good for a strikeout an inning.
Fantasy pitching studs for the Brewers: SP Yovani Gallardo. The 23 year old kid is going to be fantastic for years to come. He’s not a bad hitter either, crushing a 3 run hr in his season debut to help his cause.
Who’s hot: In addition to Gallardo, SP David Bush bounced back from an ugly 1st start to pick up a win last night. He went 6 innings giving up 3 runs while picking up a quality start and 5 k’s.
Worth keeping an eye on: RP Todd Coffey. Trevor Hoffman is suppose to be the closer and currently Carlos Villanueva filling in. Coffey, was once billed for the closing job with the Reds. If Villanueva struggles and Hoffman remains unavailable, look for Coffey to get a shot.
Fantasy Players to just stay away from: Cubs – Of Reed Johnson. Johnson will hit for average when he gets to play, but he’s not a regular anymore and won’t help you. Mil – C Jason Kendall. Even in deep leagues Kendall will will start for teams, but shouldn’t. He is living on name only at this point in his career.
WHAT’S NEW: The Cubs and Brewers are good! Not only that, they are good at the same time!
KEY STAT: The Cubs are 5-5 in their last 10 games on Sunday, however are 3-7 after a win. The Brewers are 6-4 in the last 10 games on Sunday, and are 6-4 after a loss.
CONNECTIONS: Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez and Brewers C Jason Kendall played together from 1998 to 2003 on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kendall also played for the Cubs in 2007. Kendall and SP Rich Harden played together for the Oakland A’s from 2005-2007. Cubs SP Ryan Dempster and Brewers SP Braden Looper played together for the Marlins from 1999 to 2003.
Welcome back baseball! It’s the rubber game between the Cubs and Brewers. Thanks for checking out Baseballinstinct.com and check back for more game of the day articles.