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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Dodgers series preview

This ought to be interesting.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

EDITOR’S NOTE: I am running this series preview at this time, with the information currently available, even though it appears likely Friday’s game could be postponed. Obviously if that happens, the pitching matchups might change. If it does I’ll likely repost this Saturday morning.


The Dodgers have been really good this year. At 16-7 (.696) they have the best winning percentage in the NL and have won four of five.

The Cubs are... cold. Since their 21-0 crushing of the Pirates April 23, they’ve lost seven of nine.

Fun, huh?

For more on the Dodgers, here’s Eric Stephen, managing editor of our SB Nation Dodgers site True Blue LA.

Pitching has been the Dodgers calling card so far this season, unusually stingy so far even when adjusting for the low offensive environment. They’ve allowed two or fewer runs 12 times in 23 games so far, and allowed more than three runs in a game just four times.

Because of two off days this week, all three Dodgers starters this weekend (Tyler Anderson, Clayton Kershaw, and Walker Buehler) will be on six days rest. Part of the reason for that is this weekend series starts a stretch for the Dodgers in which they play 31 games in 31 days. I’m looking forward to the matchup on Sunday night with Buehler (14 scoreless innings over his last two starts) and Marcus Stroman.

What stands out about the offense, aside from leading the majors in runs per game, is how regular a lineup the team has. Every year under in the Andrew Friedman era, the Dodgers have platooned at least one position, and usually multiple. But this year it’s basically been the nine regulars almost every day, save for spot starts for the two non-catcher bench players (Edwin Ríos, Hanser Alberto), and Austin Barnes catching once per series. Barnes will likely catch Kershaw on Saturday.

Justin Turner and Max Muncy have struggled mightily, though Muncy is still walking a ton so his overall numbers haven’t cratered. He broke a hitless skid on Wednesday, including a home run.

Fun fact

The Cubs won the season series 4-3 from the Dodgers in 2021, sweeping them at Wrigley Field in May and throwing a combined no-hitter against them in Los Angeles June 24. They were one of only two teams (also the Marlins) who won their season series against the 106-win Dodgers last year.

Pitching matchups

Friday: TBD vs. Tyler Anderson, LHP (2-0, 2.55 ERA, 0.962 WHIP, 3.15 FIP)

Saturday: Justin Steele, LHP (1-3, 5.50 ERA, 1.889 WHIP, 3.87 FIP) vs. Clayton Kershaw, LHP (3-0, 2.35 ERA, 0.696 WHIP, 2.01 FIP)

Sunday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (1-3, 5.13 ERA, 1.177 WHIP, 4.20 FIP) vs. Walker Buehler, RHP (3-1, 2.12 ERA, 1.112 WHIP, 3.13 FIP)

The Cubs starter for Friday’s game — if it happens — could be Drew Smyly, if he’s returned from the bereavement list.

Times & TV channels

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Dodgers market territories)

Saturday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Sunday: 6:08 p.m. CT, ESPN

Prediction

Another mismatch. Hopefully, the Cubs can avoid being swept.

Up next

The Cubs head to San Diego for a three-game series against the Padres that begins Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Dodgers?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    3
    (11 votes)
  • 6%
    2
    (10 votes)
  • 34%
    1
    (54 votes)
  • 51%
    0
    (81 votes)
156 votes total Vote Now

Here are the DraftKings odds for the Cubs against the Dodgers.