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Series Preview: Dodgers Head to Wrigley For Three Games With the Cubs

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - JULY 16: Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs and Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers shake hands during player introductions prior to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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.

Pitching Matchup

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.

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.

Final Word

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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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

11 Comments

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  1. If you go to espn.com, they are stating Jon Lester will start the Thursday game. The Dodgers will face 3-LHPs = Joc Pederson will Not start/bat lead-off. He won’t get into the game until the Dodgers get the LHP out of the game. He will forget how to hit again(basically spring-training). For further note when the Dodgers face the Giants and Padres starting April 30 they will face Pomeranz,Bumgarner, Lucchesi,Margecivius, thats 4-LHPs with an off-day between the Giants and the Padres. Basically, the Dodgers will face 4-LHPs in 5-days.

  2. Taylor playing LF….No Joc, no Verdugo. Absolutely stupid. The black hole returns at the end of the order, Taylor, Barnes, pitcher.

  3. All I can say about last night’s game is…..OUCH. I do agree that Dave Roberts needs to rethink strategy against lefties because that’s all we’ve got coming our way for awhile. And I, for one, definitely do not want to lose the upcoming series against the Giants.

  4. Did any of us expect to win last night? CT3 and Freese starting; Maeda pitching. Joc sits. This makes no sense, and will continue to make no sense untl the FO starts the most solid lineup they can each and every game regardless of matchups. Its getting boring. Go Blue!!

  5. If Taylor is batting just over .200 against lefties, then why is hot-hitting Peterson not starting? Isn’t that the reason, that Joc is sitting out? That he can’t hit lefties? Friedman’s hand is all over this. It is decision making like this that cost the Dodger the 2017 World Series.

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