The Los Angeles Dodgers look to get back to their winning ways Tuesday in a place where they celebrated the biggest victory in recent franchise history. A rainout and postponement has the Dodgers and Chicago Cubs due to play a split doubleheader.
Kenta Maeda starts the Dodgers’ first game at Wrigley Field since they eliminated the Cubs in the 2017 National League Championship Series. That win, of course, sent the Dodgers to their first World Series in nearly 30 years.
Maeda has had an up and down season and recently missed two weeks with a hip injury. In his first start off the disabled list, he allowed two runs and five hits over five innings against the Texas Rangers on June 13.
Overall, Maeda is 4-4 with a 3.61 ERA, 3.02 FIP and 1.30 WHIP over 57.1 innings in 2018. The right-hander has never faced the Cubs in the regular season but has plenty of experience against them in the playoffs.
He started games one and five of the 2016 NLCS, both Dodgers losses to the eventual World Series champions. In 2017, however, Maeda proved dominant out of the bullpen, throwing three perfect innings in three appearances in the series.
Maeda’s effective approach reflected that of the Dodgers’ entire pitching staff in the 2017 NLCS. Los Angeles racked up 53 strikeouts in the series, exposing the Cubs’ hitters with high fastballs that were chased out of the zone. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant expects his team to have a better approach against the Dodgers’ strategy this time around.
The Cubs send Tyler Chatwood to the mound. Chatwood is in his first season with Chicago but knows the Dodgers well from his six years with the Colorado Rockies. In 15 games against Los Angeles, Chatwood is 5-9 with a 4.07 ERA and 1.55 WHIP over 77.1 innings.
Although pitching several of those games at Coors Field definitely impacted those statistics, Chatwood has struggled in 2018 as well. He carries a 3-5 record with a 4.12 ERA and 1.75 WHIP over 13 starts heading into Monday’s outing. He leads all of baseball by a wide margin with 58 walks in 63.1 innings.
The Cubs also spent the offseason adding two ex-Dodger pitchers who overwhelmed them in the 2017 NLCS, Yu Darvish and Brandon Morrow. Darvish is currently on the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, but the Dodgers could see Morrow this series. The former Dodgers setup man turned Cubs closer has a fantastic 1.59 ERA with 16 saves over 22.2 innings for Chicago this season.
Max Muncy makes his second start of the year at second base as Logan Forsythe gets the day off for the Dodgers. Muncy has shockingly proved one of the team’s most consistent sources of offense in 2018. He homered in four straight games from June 8-12 and leads the team in home runs with 13.
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