I was almost right on the money last series with my predictions and might have been completely right had the rain not wiped Wednesday’s game out. Let’s take a look at the pitching matchups for this series with the alcoholics from the north.

Friday – 8:10pm EDT – Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 2.75 ERA) vs Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50 ERA)

Samardzija is looking for his first win since Opening Day. He ranks among the NL leaders in strikeouts with 27. He wasn’t sharp in his last start against the Giants, who collected seven hits over six innings. Estrada turned in his second successive quality start in Sunday’s 4-3, 10-inning win at St. Louis. He allowed seven hits and three runs over six innings. He has 21 strikeouts and two walks in three starts so far this season.

Saturday – 7:10pm EDT – Edwin Jackson (0-2, 6.06 ERA) vs Hiram Burgos (0-0, -.– ERA)

Jackson is looking for his first win with the Cubs after three starts. In his last outing against the Giants, he gave up five runs over 5 1/3 innings. Jackson has yet to post a quality start. So far, left-handers are batting .333 against him. The Brewers need a fifth starter for the first time since April 6 and their choice was Burgos, the team’s reigning Minor League Pitcher of the year. He will make his Major League debut.

Sunday – 2:10pm EDT – Scott Feldman (0-2, 6.00 ERA) vs Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.19 ERA)

The Cubs took advantage of Monday’s off-day to give Feldman an extra day. He’s had some tightness in his back. His pitch count knocked him out of his last game, as he threw 92 pitches over 4 1/3 innings vs. the Giants. The Brewers gave Peralta a 9-3 lead in the third inning Tuesday, and he wasn’t able to pitch through the fifth. His ratio of eight walks to 10 strikeouts is an issue the team will try to iron out.

Joe’s Fearless Predictions

I’m struggling with where to go with this one. On one hand, I’m encouraged with how we looked in the Rangers series. I feel like had game two not been rained out, that we could have taken that series. At the same time, I worry because teams I cheer for always seem to fall into the category of being that team that plays down to competition. We’ve seen it with the Bulls this year and it’s frustrating. I don’t consider the Brewers to be in the same league as the Rangers, so on the surface this series should be winnable. Estrada was really good in his outing against us, so that’s a hard one. Beyond that, we have a guy making his first start and another who has struggled. Why can’t we win this series? I’m going on record and predicting a 2-1 series win, with wins coming in games two and three, but I don’t feel good about it.

News & Notes

  • By the end of this trip, the Cubs, barring rainouts in Cincinnati, will have started their season with 14 of their first 26 games on the road.
  • After starting the season by taking two-of-three in Pittsburgh, April 1-4, Chicago is 3-8 in its last 11 games … the Cubs have held a lead in four of their nine setbacks this season.
  • The Cubs and their opponents have battled the elements through Chicago’s first 14 games of the season … four games have begun with temperatures in the 30s and nine of the 14 games have started with a temperature of 45 degrees or below.
  • Cubs starting pitchers have recorded a 3.15 ERA (30 ER/85.2 IP) in the club’s first 14 games, the fourth-lowest ERA in the National League … through the team’s first 14 games last season
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail