Series Preview: Cubs at Dodgers, July 7 - July 10, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Dodgers, July 7 – July 10, 2022

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs just keep on winning!

Going back to June 17, the Cubs (11-8) have won five of six series against the Braves, Red Sox, Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers, moving themselves slightly up in the Wild Card standings (9.0 games back), behind five other teams.

If only they didn’t go on a 10-game losing streak just before this stretch, or drop 3 of 4 to the Pirates in the middle.

I don’t think any of this actually matters – especially not with 8 games against the Dodgers and Mets coming up (potentially all without Willson Contreras, Frank Schwindel, Kyle Hendricks, Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, or Drew Smyly …), but it’s fun to follow nonetheless. This team *will be* selling at the deadline. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some wins along the way.

Speaking of that journey, the Cubs have these four games against the Dodgers on the road, followed by an off-day on Monday. After that, they’ll hit their last homestand of the first-half, with two against the Orioles and four against the Mets at Wrigley Field.

We’re Going Streaking

Don’t look now, but the Chicago Cubs (34-48) have won four straight series and five of their last six, four of which have come against legitimate contenders (Braves, Red Sox, Cardinals, Brewers). They’re 7-3 in their last ten games and 9.0 games out of a Wild Card spot.

The Los Angeles Dodgers (52-29) have the third best record in MLB and top mark in the NL. They’ve won three in a row and present a significant challenge for the Chicago Cubs.

Hot or Not and What to Watch

I hope Willson Contreras heals up this week. The Dodgers have three left-handed starters on the docket, which usually means Contreras + Gomes in the lineup. P.J. Higgins can fill in, but the Cubs may otherwise want him at first base instead of lefty Alfonso Rivas.

Justin Turner has not had a good season offensively (99 wRC+), but he has been red-hot lately (Since June 21): .404/.443/.635 (192 wRC+).

I can’t wait to watch more Keegan Thompson again this week. His last outing against the Red Sox was a mixed bag – at best – but it also included some defensive lapses that made things more difficult. Generally speaking, he’s looked good for 3+ weeks.

Since May 28 (~150 PAs), Nico Hoerner is slashing .321/.370/.403 (115 wRC+). Since June 20 (67 PAs), he’s slashing .400/.448/.500 (164 wRC+). And over the last two weeks, he’s been the most valuable position player in MLB.

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Thursday, July 7 at 9:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Friday, July 8 at 9:10 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, July 9 at 9:10 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, July 10 at 3:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Mark Leiter Jr. (RHP) vs. Tony Gonsolin (RHP)
Game 2: Keegan Thompson (RHP) vs. Tyler Anderson (LHP)
Game 3: TBD vs. Clayton Kershaw (LHP)
Game 4: TBD vs. Julio Urias (LHP)

Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Yan Gomes
  • 1B – Alfonso Rivas/P.J. Higgins
  • 2B – Christopher Morel
  • 3B – Patrick Wisdom
  • SS – Nico Hoerner
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF – Rafael Ortega
  • RF – Seiya Suzuki
  • DH – Willson Contreras (hopefully …)

Injured/Unavailable: Michael Hermosillo, Nick Madrigal, Frank Schwindel, Jason Heyward, Drew Smyly, Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, Daniel Norris, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer, Manuel Rodriguez, Ethan Roberts

Los Angeles Dodgers:

  • C – Austin Barnes
  • 1B – Freddie Freeman
  • 2B – Max Munch
  • 3B – Justin Turner
  • SS – Trea Turner
  • LF – Gavin Lux
  • CF – Cody Bellinger
  • RF – Mookie Betts
  • DH – Justin Turner/Jake Lamb

Injured/Unavailable: Chris Taylor, Andrew Heaney, Dustin May, Jimmy Nelson, Danny Duffy, Victor Gonzalez, Blake Treinen, Tommy Kahnle, Edwin Rios, Kevin Pillas, Walker Buehler, Daniel Hudson

By the Numbers

Run Differential:
Cubs: -62
Dodgers: +144

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.38
Dodgers: 5.00

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 5.13
Dodgers: 3.00

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Author: Michael Cerami

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