The Dodgers will kick off another historic series with the Cubs on Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. Los Angeles is coming off of a series win in Milwaukee in which they took three out of four games from the Brew Crew. The Cubs are coming off of a series against Arizona where they took two of three from the Snakes.
The Dodgers are getting their starting rotation back up to full strength, and the off-day on Monday helps every one to get back on schedule. The lineup seems healthy from top to bottom, and while Rich Hill and Russell Martin will not make a start in Chicago, they should both be back for the series this weekend in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers sit in first place in the West 2.5 games up on San Diego with a 15-9 record, while the Cubs hold fourth in the Central, two games back of Pittsburgh.
Tuesday– Kenta Maeda vs. Jose Quintana
Wednesday– Walker Buehler vs. Cole Hamels
Thursday– Ross Stripling vs. TBD
Kenta Maeda is coming off of a start against Cincinnati last week and will be pitching on nearly a week of rest. He tossed 6.2 innings and allowed just one earned run in that start against the Reds, and looked the best he has all year. Walker Buehler also just had his best start of the year, tossing 6.1 innings without an earned run to his name. He struck out eight and allowed just one walk to go with three hits in a victory over the Reds last Wednesday.
Ross Stripling is coming off of a decent game in Milwaukee, in which he pitched 4.2 innings and gave up two runs on four hits.
Possible Yu Darvish Reunion
The Dodgers could see an old friend, as the Cubs have yet to announce a starter for Thursday’s game. Yu Darvish seems the most likely based on the rest he has had, he last pitched on Friday. Darvish has had a rough start to the season, even when healthy. In his five starts for 2019, Darvish has allowed 15 earned runs across 22.2 innings for a 5.96 ERA and an ugly 1.72 WHIP.
Yu Darvish throws the most devastating fastball of his career. pic.twitter.com/sicvVLhnUL
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 16, 2019
Darvish was traded to Los Angeles as a part of their magical 2017 playoff run but ultimately chose Chicago in his free agency following a devastating World Series loss.
If the Dodgers offense keeps doing what they are doing, they should take the series from the Cubs. Los Angeles has scored 40 runs over the last ten games, and that doesn’t even compare to the first two weeks of the season. Cody Bellinger has been tearing the cover off of the baseball, Joc Pederson has thrived in a platoon role, and Alex Verdugo is finally here to stay. The Dodgers’ offense ranks first in RBI’s, first in slugging, first in OPS, first in runs scored, second in OBP, and fourth in batting average in the National League.
The Cubs ranks near the middle of the pack in offensive production, and their bullpen has been one of the worst in the league. Their starting pitching has been the only thing keep them in ballgames as of late, with the fifth best starting ERA in the National League.
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