Chicago Cubs vs Los Angeles Dodgers – Series Preview (April 20-23): Overview, Game and Broadcast Info, Starting Pitchers, W2W4

The Cubs just wrapped up a successful 5-1 road trip to the West Coast with a sweep of the tanking Oakland A’s. It was a dominant performance in which the North Siders outscored their opponents 26-3 in the three-game romp. David Ross‘s team gets no time for rest, however, heading home for four with the Dodgers starting Thursday.

Los Angeles dropped two of three to the Mets after losing their series to the Cubs in Chavez Ravine last weekend. The big bats of Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts have been relatively quiet so far but they are starting to hit the past few games.

Infield injuries have been a big problem early with Chris Taylor, Miguel Rojas, and Will Smith all nicked up. Manager Dave Roberts has even said Betts may play some shortstop against the Cubs when he returns from paternity leave.

The Dodgers bullpen continues to be an issue as well, putting up a 5.01 ERA through 19 games. The starting pitching is better with Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, and Dustin May at the top of the rotation, and the longer series means the Cubs will face a tougher task in that regard.

LA might not be the juggernaut they have been the last decade, but they still can get on a roll and play excellent baseball. The roster is laden with talent and experience, though it has looked at times as though they’ve gotten to the point of diminishing returns due to age in some cases.

The Cubs were very close to sweeping them in Dodger Stadium so they should have plenty of confidence, they just can’t take the Dodgers for granted. It would be awesome for Chicago to keep this strong start going, let’s see if they can do it.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Thursday, April 20 at 6:40pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
  • Friday, April 21 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
  • Saturday, April 22 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee.
  • Sunday, April 23 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee.

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
4/20 Jameson Taillon 31 R 4.50 0-2 1.88 4.00
Michael Grove 26 R 9.00 0-1 3.31 2.80
4/21 Drew Smyly 33 L 4.70 1-1 4.68 2.60
Julio Urías 26 L 1.90 3-1 3.27 8.67
4/22 Hayden Wesneski 25 R 4.15 1-0 6.00 1.83
Clayton Kershaw 35 L 2.52 3-1 3.39 6.50
4/23 Marcus Stroman 31 R 0.75 2-1 2.60 2.50
Dustin May 25 R 3.00 0-0 3.77 1.86

What to Watch For

  • Seiya Suzuki reached base eight times against Oakland in two games played.
  • Taillon and Wesneski both pitched much better in their last outings.
  • Patrick Wisdom has extra-base hits in six consecutive games and has been tapping into his power more often this season.
  • Nico Hoerner has eight hits in his last four games.
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