After being swept in a two-game set to the Angels, the Los Angeles Dodgers (45-23) still have the best record in the National League and are just a half game behind the best record in the majors.
However, there still remain points of concern with the ball club. The Dodgers bullpen situation hasn’t tightened up its game yet, so it continues to be the main struggle of the team. The other thing? Corey Seager’s hamstring injury that led him to see time on the injured list.
The Cubs (38-29) are entering this series after having just lost the three-game set against the Colorado Rockies, 2-1. They avoided the sweep on Wednesday with a 10-1 blowout win over the Rox.
Since the last time these two teams met, the Cubs have added a very impressive piece to their puzzle, Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel gives the Cubs a huge advantage over the Dodgers — not just in this series, but in the pennant race.
Game one: Clayton Kershaw (5-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (5-4, 3.56 ERA)
Thursday, June 13 - 7:10 p.m. PDT
Clayton Kershaw will open up the series on the mound for the Dodgers, coming off of another solid start in San Francisco. Though he earned his first loss of the season, he only allowed two earned runs in a seven inning start.
Kershaw isn’t as lights out as he once used to be, but he is still a valuable starter in the rotation. In all 10 of his starts this year, Kershaw has gone for at least six innings and hasn’t given up more than four runs in a single game.
It will be a battle of the lefties on Thursday, with Jon Lester to face off against Kershaw. Lester’s last outing against the St. Louis Cardinals was quite weak. He allowed four runs to score in the first inning, including two home runs and two walks. However, this outing is unlike him — in eight of his 12 starts this season, he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs to score.
Game two: Rich Hill (3-1, 2.40 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (7-4, 3.00 ERA)
Friday, June 14 - 7:10 p.m. PDT
Though it hasn’t been announced, Rich Hill will likely be the starting pitcher for Friday night’s contest. This will be his ninth start this year and he is looking to go for win No. 4. In his last outing, he tossed five innings, only allowing two runs to score from seven hits and three walks.
Kyle Hendricks is the other side, pitching for the Cubs in game two. In his career, Hendricks has only faced the Dodgers for a total of six times in the regular season, with a 2-2 record and a 5.16 ERA. It’s also only the third time Hendricks will start at Dodger Stadium.
The right hander has been pitching great as of late, slowly transitioning into tossing long innings. His last outing came against the Cardinals, where he allowed just one run in seven innings, giving up seven hits and no walks.
Game three: Walker Buehler (7-1, 3.35 ERA) vs. Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.98 ERA)
Saturday, June 15 - 6:10 p.m. PDT
Walker Buehler is next in the rotation and is good to start on Saturday. He has had back-to-back spectacular starts. In these two outings, he allowed a combined one run, seven hits and punched out 20 batters. His June 3 start against the Arizona Diamondbacks was one of his best ever. He’ll look to make three lights out starts in a row against the Cubs.
Yu Darvish making a regular season start at Dodger Stadium is not something that’s seen often. In fact, it’s only ever happened when he was a Dodger. He’s pitched a total of four games at the ravine, all in a home uniform.
The Japan native will make his 15th start of the year. He is coming fresh out of a no-decision against the Rockies at Coors Field. He went for six innings and earned four runs, giving up a pair of two-run shots in one inning.
Game four: Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-1, 1.36) vs. Jose Quintana (4-6, 3.89 ERA)
Sunday, June 16 - 4:05 p.m. PDT
The Korean Monster closes out the series on the bump and will look to be the first to 10 wins this season. He is currently tied with five other pitchers for the most wins in the majors, with nine.
He’s coming off of yet another strong outing, but the bullpen wouldn’t hold his lead, resulting in a no-decision. Ryu went for six innings against the Angels, only allowing one run to score from a Kole Calhoun home run.
José Quintana will pitch on Father’s Day, making his 14th start of the 2019 season. He’s faced the Dodgers this season on Apr. 23, earning a victory against Kenta Maeda. He pitched seven strong innings, only giving up two earned runs in the 7-2 win. It’ll only be his fifth start against the Dodgers. Even though it’s a small sample size, he boasts a 1.71 ERA against LA.
How many games will the Dodgers win against the Cubs?
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