Chacin will start on Opening Day at home against the Cardinals, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. While Chacin isn't an ace or the caliber of pitcher one would expect to head the rotation of a World Series hopeful, this news is hardly surprising, as he was the team's most consistent, reliable starter in 2018.
Chacin threw 4.2 scoreless innings in a spring game Monday. Chacin increased his innings for the second straight start, and with the 4.2 scoreless frames added to the mix, he now owns a 1.04 ERA (one ER over 8.2 innings) through three spring outings. Chacin was the Brewers' best starter a year ago, and is the favorite to start for the club in their Opening Day matchup with the Cardinals on March 28.
Chacin will start Wednesday's exhibition against the Indians. It's the Cactus League debut for Chacin, who should be a candidate for the Brewers' Opening Day starting assignment after posting a 3.50 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 35 outings during his first season in Milwaukee. Chacin's ability to suppress home runs looks to be a legitimate skill that might allow him to turn in another respectable ERA this season, but his inability to miss bats at a high clip (18.7 career strikeout percentage) limits his upside from a fantasy perspective.
Manager Craig Counsell said Chacin is available to pitch in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Friday, Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. "Jhoulys (Chacin) is available in Game 1," said the manager. "He's available to pitch tomorrow, for sure." Chacin is tentatively lined up to start Game 3 of the series, though it sounds like Counsell isn't opposed to using the right-hander out of the bullpen in Game 1 and figuring out his plans for Game 3 at a later time. Chacin posted a 3.50 ERA and 1.16 WHIP across 35 starts in the regular season and fired five scoreless innings en route to a win over the Rockies in Game 2 of the NLDS.
Chacin will start Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Monday. Chacin will follow Gio Gonzalez and Wade Miley, who are lined up to start the first two games of the series before things shift to Los Angeles. The right-hander fired five scoreless innings and picked up the win in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Rockies, allowing just three hits and three walks while striking out three. Chacin struggled in his lone start against the Dodgers in the regular season, serving up three homers and allowing eight earned runs across just 4.1 innings. Chacin will be pitching on nine days rest.