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  • 24 June 2019
    reigning ,
    defending, undisputed Cactus League champs will have to climb out of an 0-1
    start"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Brewers Rumors and SpeculationConversation
    StartersWPA Game RecapsTransactionsLatest NewsWPA Game RecapsCorey Ray homers,
    but Brewers fall to Cubs in Cactus League openerNew,43commentsThe reigning,
    defending, undisputed Cactus League champs will have to climb out of an 0-1
    startCSTShareTweetShareShareCorey Ray homers, but Brewers fall to Cubs in Cactus
    League openerRick Scuteri-USA TODAY SportsThe 2019 Championship Season is
    underway, but the Maryvale Nine will have some work to do if they hope to repeat
    as Cactus League champions.This was the first Spring Training game of the year
    for both the Brewers and the Cubs, and it looked like the kind of game you’d
    expect after a few months off from playing competitively: plenty of hits as
    pitchers are more worried about working their arms into shape than actually
    trying to get guys out, sloppy defense, and guys who may or may not have been
    pulled out of the stands getting at-bats by the end of the game.Chase Anderson
    began the game for the Brewers and had a rough start to the afternoon, allowing
    a leadoff single to Jason Heyward before Kris Bryant hit a two-run home run to
    give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead.Anderson eventually recovered to retire the next
    three batters, including striking out Willson Contreras swinging on a
    changeup.We got an exciting glimpse of the future in the bottom half of the
    though Aaron
    Judge Jersey
    , as the Brewers tied the game after Tyrone Taylor doubled
    into the left field corner and Corey Ray got the first “GET UP, GET UP” of the
    year from Bob Uecker on a two-run home run.Zach Davies pitched the second inning
    and put up a scoreless frame, including a strikeout. That would be the last
    scoreless inning for the Cubs for awhile, as they put up 2-spots in each of the
    next two innings against guys trying to steal a spot in the Opening Day bullpen
    in Bobby Wahl and Jake Petricka. Wahl struggled with his command including a
    leadoff walk, two base hits and a run-scoring wild pitch in between a pair of
    strikeouts. Petricka started his outing by allowing back-to-back hits and also
    walked a batter.The Brewers’ offense was largely quiet for most of the
    afternoon, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise considering the starting
    lineup featured Manny Pina hitting cleanup. Milwaukee was able to cut into a
    deficit a bit in the 6th inning, when Ray once again came through, this time
    with an RBI single to score Nate Orf and cut the Cubs’ lead to 6-3.More
    interesting names started appearing for the Brewers in the game’s final few
    innings, including Keston Hiura, who relieved Tyler Saladino at second base.
    Hiura ended up going 0-for-2 with a hard lineout that was snagged at third base
    and a strikeout that ended the game.Among the other notable names, Mauricio
    Dubon got the start at shortstop for his first game action since tearing his ACL
    last May. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout, but admitted before the game to not
    getting much sleep last night because he was so excited about getting back on
    the field.Lucas Erceg and Tristen Lutz both got an at-bat in the 8th inning, and
    both struck out. Trent Grisham fared better in his at-bat that inning, driving
    in Jake Hager to cap the Brewers’ scoring for the day in the 8-4 loss.The
    Brewers play Texas tomorrow afternoon in another radio-only game that may see a
    few more regulars get some action. Mike Moustakas is expected to make his first
    appearance at second base in that game. Baseball fans have been lucky over the
    past seven
    Octobers Gleyber
    Torres Jersey
    , as four of the seven World Series range from "good and
    competitive" to "all-time classic" on the championship spectrum.This year's Fall
    Classic may fall somewhere in there if recent playoff results are any
    indication, as the American League and National League Championship Series
    haven't seen a shortage of on- (and sometimes off-) field drama.Here's a look
    ahead at the World Series schedule of dates, alongside some ticket information
    and pennant-winner predictions.Schedule of DatesTuesday, October 23 (Game 1):
    National League winner at American League winnerWednesday, October 24 (Game 2):
    National League winner at American League winnerFriday, October 26 (Game 3):
    American League winner at National League winnerSaturday, October 27 (Game 4):
    American League winner at National League winnerSunday, October 28 (Game 5, if
    necessary): American League winner at National League winnerTuesday, October 30
    (Game 6, if necessary):National League winner at American League
    winnerWednesday, October 31 (Game 7, if necessary):National League winner at
    American League winnerTicket InfoWorld Series tickets can be purchased through
    StubHub. Matchup PredictionsAmerican LeagueRight-handed ace Justin Verlander
    gets the starting call for the Astros on Thursday. He wasn't his usual dominant
    self in Boston for Game 1, although a
    six-inning Tyler
    Austin Jersey
    , two-run, six-strikeout outing is still impressive on the
    road against a 108-win team.However, the Astros could still put Verlander on the
    mound even if they had their pick of any MLB starter for this do-or-die game.The
    35-year-old right-hander struck out an American League-leading 290 batters while
    posting a 2.52 ERA in 214.0 innings this past season.He's also been dominant in
    the playoffs since 2013, punching out 86 batters in 76.0 innings alongside a
    2.01 ERA. Verlander hasn't allowed fewer than three earned runs (or pitched
    fewer than five full frames) in 12 starts during that span.On the opposite
    mound, the Boston Red Sox will skip team ace Chris Sale, as the southpaw has
    battled a stomach illness that forced him to spend a night in the hospital. Red
    Sox manager Alex Cora provided an update before Game 4, noting that Sale
    is"feeling better compared to yesterday, but physically he's not there yet. So I
    think if necessary he'll pitch Game 6. He feels that he'll be ready for that
    one. And we'll go from there."Left-hander David Price is getting the call for
    the Red Sox, but he's starting on three days rest and has allowed seven earned
    runs in 6.1 playoff innings. Houston and Verlander have the edge here. Following
    a potential win, however, Houston would then be tasked with beating Sale at
    Fenway Park for Game 6, and that's a tall order even with tough right-hander
    Gerrit Cole presumably opposing him. Sale struck out 237 batters in 158.0
    innings alongside a 2.11 ERA (and microscopic 1.98 FIP).Betting against Sale at
    home in a series-clinching game isn't a safe wager, so the prediction here is
    for Boston to take Game 6 and move onto the World Series for the first time
    since its 2013 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.National LeagueDodgers
    southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu will begin Game 6. He was L.A.'sGame 2 starter versus
    Milwaukee and allowed two earned runs and six hits in 4.1 innings.The Brewers
    will go with left-hander Wade Miley, who started Game 5 and walked leadoff
    hitter Cody Bellinger before being pulled. Miley wasn't
    hurt ,
    nor did he receive one of the quickest hooks of all time from a disgruntled
    manager.Rather,skipper Craig Counsell's planwas for L.A. to build its lineup in
    response to a southpaw before Milwaukee tossed it over to right-hander Brandon
    Woodruff.Miley will now be faced with helping keep Milwaukee's season alive,
    although one has to wonder if manager Craig Counsell goes for a similar tactic
    again. In any case, Miley may be gone at the slightest hint of trouble,
    especially considering the fact that the Brewers' top three relievers (Josh
    Hader, Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress) will have the benefit of a few days'
    rest before Friday (Hader and Knebel last pitched Tuesday, while Jeffress' most
    recent appearance was Monday).L.A.'s bullpen has the benefit of rest as well:
    Right-hander Pedro Baez was the only reliever to toss more than nine pitches on
    Wednesday, and the entire team enjoys a day off Thursday. For the postseason,
    L.A. sports a 2.55 bullpen ERA.Game 6 is tough to call given how difficult it is
    to project when the managers will dip into the bullpens (who could have guessed
    Counsell would do so after five pitches Wednesday?). If we're strictly focusing
    on the starter matchup, Ryu(89 strikeouts in 82.1 innings and a 1.97 ERA) has an
    edge over Miley (50 strikeouts in 80.2 innings and a 2.57 ERA). On the flip
    side, the Brewers are an NL-best 51-30 at home and have a near-invincible weapon
    in Hader, who has pitched nine scoreless innings and allowed just five hits (and
    no runs) since the team's NL Central tie-breaking win over the Chicago Cubs.It's
    a coin-flip game, but the guess is Ryu fares well and the Dodgers get to Miley
    (and/or his successor) early. Look for the L.A. bullpen to then hold on late as
    the Dodgers take the pennant.