The Chicago Cubs (55-71) managed to pull out the victory yesterday thanks to two home runs by Ian Happ. Both were two-run homers, the first in the 7th inning and the second game-winner in the 10th. Happ’s heroics have assured the Cubs will win the season series against the Brewers with only two games left against them while holding a 10-7 edge.
Drew Smyly (5-7, 3.47 ERA) has been one of the best pitchers in the second half of the season for the Cubs and in all of baseball, for that matter. His 2.38 ERA since the All-Star break ranks him 17th in MLB. He’s not particularly overpowering, averaging just 92.5 mph on his cutter while leaning heavily on his curveball that serves as his primary putaway pitch.
The key for Smyly is that he continues to generate weak contact, limiting opposing batters to just 32.5% HardHit Rate which is 12th best in MLB (minimum 80 innings pitched) among starters. The biggest challenge for Smyly is his 11.0% HR/FB rate, particularly since the Brewers are third in baseball with 173 home runs. Limit the long ball tonight and beating the Brewers becomes much more likely.
Nick Madrigal leads off once again playing second, Willson Contreras is catching, Ian Happ is in left, Seiya Suzuki is in right, and Franmil Reyes is DH. Nico Hoerner is at short, Rafael Ortega is in center, Alfonso Rivas is at first, and Christopher Morel is at third.
First pitch is scheduled 6:10pm CT today from Wrigley North in Milwaukee.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 27, 2022