Dodgers Cubs Game 3 Preview
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers enter Sunday’s game with a five game winning streak and a 3.5 game lead over the Giants in the West. This week is a lot better than last week.
A win Sunday gives the Dodgers a sweep against a probable playoff team and a perfect week following a winless week. Alex Wood will get the ball for the Dodgers and is searching for his first win as a Dodger against a team other than Cincinnati. Wood was good enough in his last start for most fans to be upset when he was pulled, which came with two outs in the sixth after giving up a single.
Aug 26, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) after the top of the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Wood has only made one start in his career against the Cubs, and he gave up four runs in five 1/3 innings. In very limited appearances against current Cubs batters, Wood has not fared well. Current Cubs have 10 hits in 21 plate appearances in the past off Wood. In an obviously small sample size, Wood has been pretty solid at Dodger Stadium this year. In his two starts, he’s given up four runs and struck out nine (in 13 1/3 innings).
The Dodgers offense woke up in the seventh inning last night, and they’re going to have their work cut out for them again with Jake Arrieta on the hill for the Cubs. Arrieta leads the NL in wins and if it weren’t for Zack Greinke‘s incredible season, Arrieta would lead the NL in ERA (2.22, 2.57 FIP). He’s essentially having the same exact season as he had last year in terms of walks and strikeouts/9 innings, but his FIP and ERA have flipped spots. He’s coming off a six inning shutout of the Giants and has only allowed two runs in 33 1/3 August innings. He’s also given up one homer since June 21, so the Dodgers might have to smallball their way to more runs today.
Enrique Hernandez will make his first start of the season at third. Justin Turner had played in a season-high five consecutive games, and without another natural third baseman on the roster Kiké gets the start.
Joc Pederson is also back in the lineup, along with Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford to form an all-lefty outfield against Arrieta. Arrieta has reverse splits, as righties are hitting about 50 points higher than him than lefties, so it’ll be interesting to see how this works out.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:08 and the game will be shown on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Curt Schilling will thankfully not be on the call, and Jessica Mendoza will be on the broadcast for the second time this season.