After an exciting two-game series with the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers will now head to Wrigley Field to face off against the Chicago Cubs.
As of late the Dodgers have been great on the road, winning their last 1o away from Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers would tie the road record with one more victory and this would be the second time the Dodgers would accomplish this feat at Wrigley Field. In 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers won their 11th game on the road in Chicago.
The Dodgers currently have a 2.5 game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks, but need to continue to extend that lead as the season progresses. Having four games against a struggling team like the Cubs will provide that opportunity for the Dodgers. The Cubs currently have a 23-29 record at home and they recently lost their best offensive threat, Alfonso Soriano.
Here are the three keys to the series:
1. Dodgers Offense:
In both games against the Yankees, the Dodgers struggled offensively and although they escaped with a split, the Dodgers need to be better offensively. The Cubs have a decent pitching staff , but not good enough to stop this Dodger line-up, so look for Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez to wake up. The Dodgers rank 21st in the majors in runs scored and after scoring just 10 runs in the last five games, they need to improve on that this weekend.
2. Back to the Basics:
The Dodgers could have easily won the second game against the Yankees, but the Yankees capitalized on a few mistakes. Hanley couldn’t turn a double play in the ninth and the fly ball mistake with Mark Ellis and Puig in right field. Poor base running from Gonzalez as well really wasted a great performance from Clayton Kershaw. With the offense struggling the Dodgers must really focus on the fundamentals and not let mistakes cost them games.
In every series, the Dodgers bullpen is arguably a key as they look to continue to find consistency. Brian Wilson, once he arrives to the big leagues, should be a big help to the ‘pen.
Hopefully there are a couple blowouts in the series against the Cubs so there don’t need to be many high-pressure situations for Dodger relievers.
Prediction: The Dodgers are still the hottest team in baseball and they just need to make a few adjustments. They will win three out four as the Cubs are struggling. Hopefully the Diamondbacks continue to lose games as they’ll play tonight in Texas and will be in Boston for three games over the weekend.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about the Brian Wilson Signing!