Cubs vs. Dodgers Preview, Thursday 8/1, 7:05 CT: Fun With Numbers

Brian Kersey

The Cubs haven't seen the Dodgers in almost a full calendar year. Let's look at what's happened to L.A. since then.

When the Dodgers started their 26-7 run beginning with the game of June 23, they had a record just one game better than the Cubs (31-42 to 30-43). The Cubs have been decent enough, 19-15 since then, but that 26-7 mark is really good (and is only tied for the best record in baseball since then; the Rays are also 26-7).

During that 26-7 run, the Dodgers are 13-4 against teams in their own division... and still don't have a winning record within the N.L. West. L.A. is 23-27 against N.L. West teams. In fact, fewer than half of all National League teams have a winning record within their own division (Braves, Phillies, Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, Rockies and Giants, and three of those teams have overall losing records).

So it's not just the Cubs who are having a tough time in their own division.

Also, just for grins, here's the boxscore from the last Dodgers/Cubs game played, in Los Angeles almost a year ago, August 5, 2012. Look at how many L.A. players from that game aren't on the team any more. They have revamped their club entirely, spending tons of money. As of the last five weeks, it appears to be working.

Finally, not that I feel sorry for them, but the Dodgers had a night game at home Wednesday night that ended at 12:10 a.m. Chicago time. They likely didn't land in Chicago until after 6 a.m. today. They surely would have drawn a decent crowd, with the Yankees as visitors, with a day game. Why didn't they do that?

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Navarro C, Schierholtz RF, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Barney 2B, Rusin P

Dodgers lineup:

Crawford LF, Puig CF, Gonzalez 1B, Ramirez SS, Uribe 3B, Van Slyke RF, M. Ellis 2B, Federowicz C, Nolasco P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin


Cubs

vs. Ricky Nolasco

Ricky Nolasco


Dodgers

vs. LA

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Chris Rusin 1-0 3 3 0 0 0 0 15.1 11 5 5 2 4 9 2.93 .98


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Ricky Nolasco 6-9 22 22 0 0 0 0 135.1 134 58 56 12 34 106 3.72 1.24

Chris Rusin had the best start of his career in his last outing. He has never faced the Dodgers or anyone on their roster. If he can continue what he did last time out, he can start building a case to be in the 2014 rotation. The Cubs could use a lefty in the rotation; that would be a good thing.

Ricky Nolasco has done pretty well since the Dodgers acquired him from the Marlins last month. He has one start against the Cubs this year, as a Marlin, April 28 in Miami, the only game the Marlins won in that series. Nolasco has a 2.45 ERA and 1.045 WHIP in four career appearances (three starts) in Wrigley Field. Doom? Maybe.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Dodgers site True Blue LA.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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