Series Preview: Cubs v. Dodgers, August 1 Ė August 3, 2014
in Series Previews ó by Brett ó August 1, 2014
And on into August we go. In the current phase of the Chicago Cubsí building plan Ė by which I mean the last three years, really Ė August has marked something of a changing point to the year. Weíre past the non-waiver trade deadline, and itís already time to start looking to the future. But the games, they go on. Some day soon, August is going to feel very different.
Weíre Going Streaking
The Cubs took three of four from the Rockies, and are officially smoking hot! Right?
The Dodgers have a 3.5 game lead in the NL West, which has become markedly less competitive than it was looking a couple months ago. The Dodgers are on a six-game winning streak, having just swept the Braves and Giants.
Game Times and Broadcasts
◾Friday, August 1 at 9:10 CT on WGN.
◾Saturday, August 2 at 8:10 CT on CSN.
◾Sunday, August 3 at 3:10 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but youíll want to check each dayís Pre-Gaminí post for the actual lineup.
Starters: Kyle Hendricks (2.33 ERA, 4.11 FIP; 2.33 K/BB), Tsuyoshi Wada (3.38 ERA, 2.63 FIP; 2.17 K/BB), Edwin Jackson (5.79 ERA, 4.25 FIP; 2.04 K/BB)
1.Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/CF
2.Chris Coghlan, LF
3.Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4.Starlin Castro, SS
5.Luis Valbuena, 3B
6.Justin Ruggiano, CF/RF
7.Ryan Sweeney/Junior Lake/Nate Schierholtz, LF/RF/CF
8.Welington Castillo, C
Starters: Dan Haren (4.49 ERA, 4.52 FIP; 3.57 K/BB), Hyun-Jin Ryu (3.44 ERA, 2.84 FIP; 4.57 K/BB), Josh Beckett (2.74 ERA, 4.29 FIP; 2.81 K/BB)
1.Dee Gordon, 2B
2.Yasiel Puig, CF
3.Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4.Hanley Ramirez, SS
5.Carl Crawford, LF (Obviously Andre Either rotates in, too)
6.Matt Kemp, RF
7.Juan Uribe, 3B
8.A.J. Ellis, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Iím very excited that weíre going to get to see Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada in this series, facing a quality Dodgers lineup in a hostile environment. Letís see how they respond.
You know whoís crazy hot, and has been for a really long time? The answer is no, you didnít know, because the answer is John Baker: going all the way back to June 27, heís hitting .371/.500/.486. Thatís more than a month of crazy production. (So what if itís only 44 plate appearances Ö. )
The Dodgers optioned Darwin Barney to AAA to get some work at SS and 3B earlier this week, so itís possible we wonít see him in this series.
Heís not Aroldis Chapman (no one is), but Kenley Jansen is pretty damn good, with a 37.2% K rate and a 7.1% BB rate.
Matt Kempís demise may have been greatly exaggerated. Heís up to .286/.353/.462 with a 133 wRC+.
The Dodgers are getting huge production from Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke as bench pieces. Thatís nice. On Van Slyke, looking for a guy who wonít have a starting job next year on his own team, but who would be a nice trade target? Heís your guy.