Series Preview: Dodgers at Cubs, May 6 - May 8, 2022

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Series Preview: Dodgers at Cubs, May 6 – May 8, 2022

Chicago Cubs

Well, we were worried about this brutal stretch in the schedule — Braves, Brewers, White Sox, Dodgers, Padres, in order — and so far, those fears were warranted. The Cubs have lost six of the first eight games in this stretch with six more to go against the Dodgers (at Wrigley) and the Padres (in San Diego). The schedule lightens up after that, but the damage may already be done.

This weekend features four southpaws out of six starting pitchers (two for each team in the first two games), before Marcus Stroman and Walker Buehler square off on ESPN on Sunday Night Baseball. The Dodgers have been as good as ever this season, and are currently riding a three-game winning streak.

Good luck, Cubs!


We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (9-15) are already 8.0 games out of first place, having loss seven of their last ten and 11 of their last 14. It’s not going well. The Los Angeles Dodgers (16-7) just swept the Giants at home after taking two of three from the Tigers. They did lose two out of three to the Diamondbacks, who are not very good, so you can beat them. It is technically possible.

Hot or Not and What to Watch

Seiya Suzuki is the opposite of hot. And it probably goes back further than you think. His first ten games (39 PAs), he was the man: .429/.564/.929 (294 wRC+). In his last 14 games (57 PAs), he’s been completely overmatched: .154/.228/.231 (37 wRC+); 31.6% strikeout rate. He’s also got just one hit and one walk in his last six games with 8 strikeouts. Eek. This adjustment period was ALWAYS coming for Suzuki, but it has been deep and frustrating. Hopefully, he finds a way out of it sooner than later.

We’ve talked about David Robertson, Patrick Wisdom, and Nico Hoerner lately, though they all deserve another bump in love. Meanwhile, Ian Happ has STILL been on base in all but one of his starts this season — that .416 OBP is looking mighty fine, and he’s starting to hit for more power lately, as well.

No surprises, but Freddie Freeman is, uh, still good: .299/.386/.483 (155 wRC+). After a couple of 0-4 performances in mid-April, Freeman is slashing .327/.422/.564 (187 wRC+), with an equal number of walks and strikeouts.

The Cubs are also going to get Clayton Kershaw this weekend, and he’s basically been his vintage self (2.35 ERA; 35.3 K%, 2.4 BB%, 48.1 GB%) with just a little less longevity. Oh, and in his first start of the year, he was removed in the 7th inning of a perfect game with 13 strikeouts. So, yeah. Still good.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Friday, May 6 at 1:20 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score,
•   Saturday, May 7 at 1:20 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Sunday, May 8 at 6:08 CT on ESPN, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Drew Smyly (L) vs. Tyler Anderson (L)
Game 2: Justin Steele (L) vs. Clayton Kershaw (L)
Game 3: Marcus Stroman (R) vs. Walker Buehler (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Alfonso Rivas
•   2B – Nick Madrigal
•   3B – Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Nico Hoerner
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Jason Heyward
•   RF – Seiya Suzuki
•   DH – Frank Schwindel

Unavailable: Wade Miley, Andrelton Simmons, Alec Mills, Clint Frazier, Ethan Roberts, David Bote, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer

Los Angeles Dodgers

•   C – Will Smith
•   1B – Freddie Freeman
•   2B – Gavin Lux
•   3B – Max Muncy
•   SS – Trea Turner
•   LF – Chris Taylor
•   CF – Cody Bellinger
•   RF – Mookie Betts
•   DH – Justin Turner

Unavailable: David Price, Mitch White, Caleb Ferguson, Victor Gonzalez, Blake Treinen, Andrew Heaney, Dustin May, Jimmy Nelson, Danny Duffy

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -3
Dodgers: +57 (1st in MLB)

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.17
Dodgers: 4.96

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.29
Dodgers: 2.48

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami