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Opener: Cubs vs. Dodgers

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Will Andre be a superhero tonight, leading Los Angeles to another victory over the evil Chicago Cubs of the nefarious NL Central?
Will Andre be a superhero tonight, leading Los Angeles to another victory over the evil Chicago Cubs of the nefarious NL Central?

The Dodger begin a four-game weekend series tonight with a Chicago Cubs team that is 38-47 and 10 1/2 games out of first in the NL Central, but is coming off of a road sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Clayton Kershaw (8-4, 3.02 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 4.01 xFIP) starts for the Dodgers for the last time before the All-Star break, while righty Randy Wells (4-6, 4.67, 3.37, 3.77) takes the hill for the Cubs.  In May in Chicago, Kershaw was on the wrong end of a shutout pitched by the Cubs. Only one Cub, Jeff Baker, has more than three PAs versus Kershaw in his career, and Baker, in eleven PAs,  is hitting .400 / .455 / .800 against him, with one HR; expect Baker to be starting in the infield tonight.

Several likely starters have faced Wells six or seven times previously, no one more than that, with Garret Anderson holding the only dinger against him, hit for Atlanta last year at home.

Pitching matchups for the rest of the series:

  • Friday: Ted Lilly (3-7, 3.76, 4.62, 4.64) vs. Chad Billingsley (6-4, 4.06, 3.50, 3.88)
  • Saturday: Tom Gorzelanny (3-5, 3.31, 3.46, 3.98) vs. John Ely (4-6, 4.07, 3.53, 3.87)
  • Sunday: Carlos Silva (9-2, 2.96, 3.59, 3.84) vs. Vicente Padilla (3-2, 4.72, 4.73, 3.75)

TBLA's Cubs team preview from late May.

Notes

  • Evenly matched?  The all-time series record between the Dodgers and Cubs stands at 1018 - 1017 in the Dodgers favor.
  • Home cooking?  Since Andre Ethier got to play in his hometown of Phoenix on Friday, he is hitting .417 / .462 / .750 / 1.212, with two double and two homers.  Tonight is Andre Ethier superhero action figure night at the Stadium.
  • Ethier said he was not invited for the Home Run Derby, but that he wouldn't have accepted an invitation either.
  • "Manny will play for Class-A Inland Empire on Saturday." - Dylan Hernandez on twitter.

Get your guesses in for Xeifrank's game simulation here.

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

Baseball Reference Preview | Box Score | Gameday