The Dodgers on Saturday honor Ernie Banks by playing two against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Los Angeles finds itself in an eerily similar situation to almost exactly one year ago, as rain washed away the series opener in Chicago, forcing a doubleheader the next day.
Clayton Kershaw started the opener of that 2021 doubleheader, and had the shortest start of his career, allowing four runs in just one inning, as the Dodgers got swept in both the doubleheader and in the series.
But that Dodgers team was on the backside of a brutal stretch in which they lost 15 times in 20 games. That included 4-10 in the two weeks before the series in Chicago. This year, the Dodgers have won four of their last five and enter Saturday atop the National League West at 16-7.
Kershaw 35% K months
Kershaw has pitched very well so far this season, aside from setting the franchise strikeout record last Saturday. He’s pitching today on six days rest.
Kershaw struck out 35.3 percent of his batters faced in April, just the 10th calendar month of his career he’s reached 35 percent in a single month, and the third time since the start of the 2018 season.
The Dodgers haven’t won a regular season series at Wrigley Field since 2014, with Kershaw and Justin Turner the only players still remaining on the team. LA is 0-5-1 in series against the Cubs in Chicago during the regular season since then, and just 6-14 in games.
The Dodgers did win two of three games at Wrigley Field to close out the 2017 National League Championship Series, but even if you count that, it’s been a while since LA has had success at the oldest park in the National League.
Lack of offense has been the main culprit for the Dodgers in Chicago since the start of 2015, scoring two or fewer runs in 13 of the 20 games, averaging just 2.3 runs per game while hitting .180/.271/.304.
Game 1 info
- Teams: Dodgers (16-7) at Cubs (9-15)
- Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw vs. Drew Smyly
- Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago
- Time: 10:05 a.m. PT (nightcap starts at 4:40 p.m. PT)
- TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network (out of market)