The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs will open up a four game series on Monday night at Dodger Stadium. This is a rematch of the previous two National League Championship Series, with each team winning the pennant once. The Chicago Cubs took two of three games over the Dodgers last week at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs come into this series suffering through a four game losing streak after getting swept by the last place Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers come in riding a three game win streak, after sweeping the New York Mets over the weekend. This should be a highly competitive series amongst playoff rivals. The Los Angeles Dodgers are -136 over the Chicago Cubs in game one of the series.
Cubs Pitching Woes Continue
The Chicago Cubs have struggled with their starting rotation in the past week, and it doesn’t appear things will get any better for them on Monday. The Cubs are opting to give Jon Lester an extra day of rest, which means they have to turn to a Duane Underwood in the series opener. Underwood will be making his major league debut, and faces a tough test in his first taste of Major League Baseball.
The Cubs are hoping that Kris Bryant can return to the lineup in the series opener. Bryant missed the last two games in Cincinnati with right shoulder soreness, and the Cubs lineup desperately needs his services. Anthony Rizzo collected his 12th home run and 50th RBI on Sunday afternoon, but it was not enough to lift the Cubs to a victory. The Cubs are hoping to bounce back against a tough Dodgers team.
Kemp Powering Dodgers
Veteran Matt Kemp continues to produce for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and could be headed to the All-Star game later next month. Kemp is leading the Dodgers with a .318 batting average, and he ranks near the top of the National League leaderboard. Kemp delivered the huge blow in Saturday’s game with a pinch hit home run in the victory over the Mets.
Kenta Maeda will make the start for the Dodgers in the series opener. Maeda has had a solid first half of the season and comes in with a 4-4 record to go along with his 3.84 ERA. The Cubs were able to chase Maeda in the fourth inning in his previous start, but the Dodgers were still able to win the game. The Dodgers hope that the former Japanese star can slow down the Cubs potent offense.
Cubs Slide Continues in Loss
The Los Angeles Dodgers know that they must prove they can beat the top teams if they are going to get back into the playoff mix. The Dodgers are starting to get healthy, but appear to be in a season long battle with the Arizona Diamondback in the National League West. Los Angeles had a great weekend against the Mets and hope to continue that momentum into this series.
The Cubs are turning to a rookie in the series opener, and Dodgers Stadium is a tough place to make a major league debut. The Cubs looked ready to take control of the National League Central, but had a miserable weekend in Cincinnati. The Cubs will snap out of their funk soon, but it won’t be on Monday night. Bet the Los Angeles Dodgers -136 over the Cubs on Monday night.
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