The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs play the final game of their current three-game series Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field
Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles had its first three-game winning streak of the season snapped on Saturday due to giving up five runs in a 10-8 loss to Chicago at Wrigley Field. “It’s especially disappointing given the fact our offense battled back from a deficit, took the lead and I wasn’t able today to get it done, so we could go up 2-0 in the series,” said pitcher Ted Lilly. “I wasn’t making quality pitches. I put us in a tough spot going to the bullpen early.” Last season, the Dodgers won the season series with the Cubs, 4-3, but lost two of three at Wrigley Field. Los Angeles has enjoyed its time in the Windy City offensively the last two days, including a season-high 12 runs and 14 hits on Friday. Los Angeles is 49-44 in day games the past three years.
Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda is an even 2-2 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts this season, managing to issue just five walks and collect 16 strikeouts in 27 innings of work. The right-hander has not faced the Cubs since 2008 and is 1-1 with a 0.59 ERA in two career starts. It must also be noted that he threw 6.1 shutout innings to beat the Cubs in Game 3 of the 2008 NLDS in sweeping the series. Kuroda has limited Chicago hitters to a .204 batting average when facing them.
Chicago moved its record to 8-2 this season when following a loss with a come-from-behind victory over Los Angeles. “We never lost confidence that we could come back,” shortstop Starlin Castro stated. “The way we play right now, everybody was aggressive and everybody had confidence. The Cubs have dropped their previous two seasons series to the Dodgers after going 5-2 against them in 2008. Since Mike Quade became the head man in Chicago, the club has posted a 34-23 record, which is tied for the second-best mark in baseball over that time. The team is 84-82 in day games the past three campaigns.
Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano will be making his fifth start of the young season, posting a 2-0 record and 4.21 ERA. The power right-hander tossed a season-high 8 shutout innings in the team’s 1-0 victory over San Diego in 10 innings April 18. Zambrano brings in a 2-3 mark and 3.75 ERA in 12 career games (eight starts) versus the Dodgers. He is 2-0 with a 6.94 ERA in two road starts compared to a 1.93 ERA with no record in three home outings.
Bettors will likely back the Cubs due to being 11-1 in Zambrano’s last 12 starts, while the Dodgers are 4-11 in Kuroda’s last 15 outings on Sunday.