Preview: Ross Stripling Makes Final Start Before Move To Bullpen; Dodgers Need Win To Finish With Winning Record On Road Trip
State Of The Dodgers: Starting Rotation Depth
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to their last road trip, matters have gone wayward for the Los Angeles Dodgers after a successful first season. Upon sweeping the Colorado Rockies earlier this month, the Dodgers concluded their first road trip of 2019 by getting swept by the St. Louis Cardinals.

L.A. began their current road trip by taking three of four from the Milwaukee Brewers, but now enter Wednesday’s series finale at Wrigley Field needing a win to avoid being swept by the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers haven’t fared particularly well against the National League Central, going 7-9 against such opponents thus far.

They hand the ball to Ross Stripling in what will be his final start for the foreseeable future. Stripling was needed in the rotation at the outset of the season because Clayton Kershaw was recovering from shoulder inflammation.

Although Kershaw has since been activated off the 10-day injured list, Stripling remained a starter over Julio Urias to continue filling in until Rich Hill is reinstated this weekend. Stripling has gone 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA, 4.14 FIP and 1.06 WHIP in five starts this season.

The Cubs counter with Jon Lester, who returns from a strained hamstring that had him on the IL. Wednesday’s start is Lester’s first since April 8 and fourth this season. Lester went six innings in each of his first two outings but was removed in the third of his last outing because of injury.

Lester marks a third left-handed starter the Dodgers are facing in as many games with the Cubs. Jose Quintana pitched well until encountering some trouble late, while Cole Hamels allowed three runs and issued six walks over 5.1 innings.

That’s been par for the course with the Dodgers, who lead the Majors with 119 walks. L.A. used the same lineup in each of the first two games but have shuffled it a bit of the series finale.

After batting sixth in consecutive games, Bellinger is now up to the cleanup spot. Meanwhile, Alex Verdugo gets an opportunity to prove he can be successful against left-handed pitching.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Kiké Hernandez
3B: Justin Turner
1B: David Freese
RF: Cody Bellinger
CF: A.J. Pollock
LF: Alex Verdugo
SS: Chris Taylor
C: Rocky Gale
P: Ross Stripling

Cubs lineup:

RF: Ben Zobrist
3B: Kris Bryant
1B: Anthony Rizzo
SS: Javier Baez
2B: Daniel Descalso
C: Willson Contreras
CF: Jason Heyward
LF: Kyle Schwarber
P: Jon Lester