Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

dodgers logoThings didn’t go as well as hoped in San Francisco, but it was far from a disaster. Do that – at worst – in Los Angeles, and it still won’t be all that bad. But a series win sure would be nice.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs dropped two in San Francisco after winning six in a row. Their lead over the Giants for the final Wild Card spot is 5.5 games.

… which is more than the Dodgers’ lead over the Giants for the NL West, which stands at just 2.5 games. This series means a whole lot to the Dodgers, who have won exactly zero games against teams not named the Reds since August 12. Fortunately for the Dodgers, they’ve played the Reds seven times in that window.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, August 28 at 9:10 CT on WGN-9, MLBN.
  • Saturday, August 29 at 8:10 CT on WGN-9, MLBN.
  • Sunday, August 30 at 7:08 CT on ESPN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.


Starters: Jason Hammel (3.35 ERA, 3.64 FIP; 4.79 K/BB), Jon Lester (3.44 ERA, 3.13 FIP; 3.98 K/BB), Jake Arrieta (2.22 ERA, 2.57 FIP; 4.14 K/BB)


  1. Dexter Fowler, CF (Hopefully he’s back)
  2. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  3. Chris Coghlan, RF
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Kris Bryant, 3B
  6. Miguel Montero, C
  7. Tommy La Stella/Starlin Castro, 2B
  8. Pitcher
  9. Addison Russell, SS


Starters: Clayton Kershaw (2.29 ERA, 2.12 FIP; 6.94 K/BB), Mat Latos (6.75 ERA, 4.42 FIP; 2.67 K/BB), Alex Wood (4.34 ERA, 4.12 FIP; 1.50 K/BB)

Lineup (changes so often, and a bunch of guys are slightly dinged up, so this is mostly meaningless):

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Yasiel Puig, RF (probably out)
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B (probably in)
  4. Justin Turner, 3B
  5. Yasmani Grandal, C
  6. Andre Ethier/Scott Van Slyke, LF
  7. Chase Utley, 2B
  8. Joc Pederson/Enrique Hernandez, CF
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Kyle Schwarber is deep in an adjustment phase, though his unique skill set has produced an odd-looking .161/.274/.468 line over his last 17 games.

Despite what anyone tries to tell you, Clayton Kershaw remains the best pitcher in baseball. Get two runs off him, and celebrate. Hopefully Jason Hammel is at his best tonight.

As for the other two starters the Cubs will face (against Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, mind you), each is a reasonably good pitcher who, for whatever reason, hasn’t pitched very well since coming over in trade at the deadline.

The Dodgers will likely be without Yasiel Puig in this series, as he injured a hamstring yesterday. Adrian Gonzalez fouled a ball off of his knee, though he’ll probably play.

Joc Pederson since the start of July: .150/.301/.263. Oof. The league adjusts quickly and harshly, and it’s a long season for rookies. Pederson has started to get some time off, since Enrique Hernandez is hitting .303/.347/.497 on the year. By the way, he’s just 24 and can play all over. That’s a nice player to have, though he didn’t really show this caliber of offense in the minors.

Justin Turner’s 147 wRC+ still leads the Dodgers, but he’s been at .267/.307/.440 since the end of June (105 wRC+). Still good, but not as terrifying as he was in the first half.

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