Dodgers Vs. Cubs Preview: Ramirez Starting At Shortstop
After dropping the third game and the series to the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers now find themselves atop the NL West with just a two-game lead. The Dodgers must now attempt to move on from a disappointing performance to an important four-game series in Chicago against the Cubs.
Taking the hill for the Dodgers is Zack Greinke. Greinke, who has not lost in his last five starts, looks to push the Dodgers in the right direction. On the season, the right-handed pitcher is 15-8 with a 2.68 ERA. In his last start, the 30-year-old put together six strong innings, in which he allowed four hits, zero walks, and five strikeouts. He now looks to continue his recent pitching success against a team he has faced only once as a Dodger.
In six career starts against the Cubs, Greinke is 4-2 with a 3.92 ERA. The 10-year veteran has excelled against the NL Central opponent by fanning opposing batters. The former Cy Young winner compiled 51 strikeouts compared to just 31 hits allowed in 39 total innings pitched. The reigning Silver Slugger’s last start against the Cubs came in 2013, where he almost had a complete game. In 8.2 innings pitched, Greinke only gave up five hits, two earned runs, and two walks in a victory.
Starting for the Cubs is Tsuyoshi Wada. Wada, an acquisition from the Japanese League, has had varied results in his first season in the Major League. In 11 starts this season, the southpaw pitcher is 4-3 with a 3.34 ERA. The team has lost six of his last 10 starts, as the Dodgers will look to capitalize against a pitcher they have seen before.
On August 2nd, Wada opposed the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. In 5.2 innings pitched, the 33-year-old allowed six hits, two earned runs, and two walks in a 5-2 12th inning loss for the Cubs. Wada allowed a two-run home run to Matt Kemp in the first inning, which came after 10 scoreless innings. A Hanley Ramirez three-run home run in the 12th inning gave the Dodgers the win.
Ramirez, who missed the last two games due to an elbow strain, is back in the lineup at shortstop and Scott Van Slyke takes over for Carl Crawford in left field.
LF: Van Slyke