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Series Preview: Rich Hill Set to Return as Dodgers Face Cubs



In a rematch of NLCS over the past two seasons, the Dodgers will head to the North Side of the Windy City to face the Cubs. This is the first meeting between the two teams since last October, when the Dodgers won the NLCS in five games.

Pitching Probables

Monday June 18, 5:05 PM PT

Kenta Maeda vs. Tyler Chatwood

Kenta Maeda will open the series, making just his second start since returning from his hip injury. He allowed two runs in five innings against the Rangers in his last start.

The Cubs will throw out righty Tyler Chatwood. The Dodgers faced him several times when Chatwood pitched for the Rockies. He 5-9 with a 4.07 ERA in his career against the Dodgers

Tuesday, June 19, 5:05 PM PT

Rich Hill vs. Mike Montgomery

Dodgers
Apr 1, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill (44) delivers a pitch against the San Francisco Giants during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Back on June 15, 2005, Rich Hill made his Major League debut pitching for the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He will be back on the hill where it all started, this time pitching against the Cubs.

Hill will take the mound for the first time in nearly a month after landing on the DL with another blister problem. In his last start, Hill threw only two pitches against the Nationals before exiting the game. He made a rehab start with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga where he struck out 10 batters in 4.2 innings

Southpaw Mike Montgomery will pitch for the Cubs on Tuesday making his fifth start of the season. He began the year coming out of the bullpen but since moving back to the rotation, Montgomery is 3-1 with a 1.14 ERA.

Wednesday June 20, 11:20 AM PT

Ross Stripling vs. Jon Lester

For the rubber match of the series, both teams will throw their hottest pitchers. Ross Stripling has won his last six starts, posting a 1.43 ERA during that stretch. Stripling also has not allowed more than two runs in a start since April 30.

Jon Lester has won each of his last four starts and is posting a 0.90 ERA this month. He has been nearly unhittable at home, posting a 1.49 ERA at Wrigley Field this year and has allowed a total of two runs over his last five home starts.

 

Cubs Player to Watch: Albert Almora Jr.

With a lineup featuring all-stars Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell, Albert Almora Jr. has been the pleasant surprise for the Cubs. Almora ranks fifth in the National League in batting average at .325 and is batting .375 in June.

Dodgers Player to Watch: Kike Hernández

Going with the hot bat, Kike Hernández is the player to watch for the Dodgers. He went deep twice in the last series against the Giants, with both home runs coming off of left handed pitching. Hernández should continue to find his way into the lineup this series with a pair of southpaws pitching for the Cubs.

Hernández has two home runs against Jon Lester in his career. He also homered against Mike Montgomery in his memorable three home run game at Wrigley Field last October.

Analysis

Both the Dodgers and Cubs come into the series in second place in their respective divisions. The Dodgers come in winning each of their six series in June. They will also receive an extra boost with Rich Hill and Chase Utley set to return to the roster this week.

The Dodgers will face the Cubs again next week for a four game set at Dodgers Stadium.

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-rich-hill-dominates-rehab-start-ready-for-return-jw0692/2018/06/16/”]Dodgers: Rich Hill Dominates Rehab Start, Ready for Return[/button]

Written by Arthur Cribbs

Arthur Cribbs is a journalism student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is a lifelong Dodgers fan and when he is not at school, he resides in Los Angeles.

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