Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dodgers / Cubs, Series Preview

The Dodgers and Cubs both enter this game as teams of streaks. Not so much for their current modest win streaks (Dodgers 3, Cubs 2), but more for their recent streaks. The Cubs previous road trip saw them lose all 6 games, including 2 from a previous home stand, which totalled an 8 game losing streak. That road trip saw the Cubs score 5 runs in 6 games. The Dodgers on the otherhand have a 13 game home winning streak to their 2009 resume. More recently, the Dodgers just came off an impressive three game sweep of the Colorado Rockies in Coors Field and have won 11 of their last 15 games. The Dodgers have only played three games vs the NL Central so far this year, and sport a record of 1-2 (@ HOU) in those three games. The NL Central teams will pose a big challenge for the Dodgers even though the Dodgers won't see another NL Central team until July 10th when the Dodgers visit Milwaukee in the dead of the summer.

Team Hitting Arm Range R Error R Overall Fielding SP RP Overall Pitching Team Total
Dodgers 36.8       -4.9 44.1 13.8 6.1 15.4
Cubs -20.4       3.5 41.8 -2.5 4.0 7.9
Dodgers NL Rank 1st 15th 10th 6th 11th 5th 4th 4th 1st
Cubs NL Rank 12th 9th 6th 4th 5th 6th 14th 9th 11th

Top Three Dodgers Hitters by 2009 WAR:
1. CF-Matt Kemp 2.0
1. 2B-Orlando Hudson 2.0
3. 3B-Casey Blake 1.6

Top Three Dodgers Starting Pitchers by 2009 WAR:
1. *Chad Billingsley 2.0
2. *Randy Wolf 1.0
3. Clayton Kershaw 0.8

Top Three Dodgers Relief Pitchers by 2009 WAR:
1. Jonathan Broxton 1.3
2. Ramon Troncoso 0.6
3. Cory Wade 0.3

Top Three Dodgers Fielders by 2009 UZR:
1. CF-Matt Kemp 7.4
2. LF-Juan Pierre 1.4
3. 3B-Mark Loretta 1.0

Top Three Cubs Hitters by 2009 WAR:
1. CF-Kosuke Fukudome 1.8
2. SS-Ryan Theriot 1.5
3. 3B-Aramis Ramirez 0.8

Top Three Cubs Starting Pitchers by 2009 WAR:
1. Carlos Zambrano 1.1
2. *Ryan Dempster 0.8
3. *Ted Lilly 0.8

Top Three Cubs Relief Pitchers by 2009 WAR:
1. Angel Guzman 0.3
2. Luis Vizcaino 0.1
3. Carlos Marmol 0.1

Top Three Cubs Fielders by 2009 UZR:
1. SS-Ryan Theriot 4.2
2. RF-Kosuke Fukudome 2.8
3. 2B-Mike Fontenot 2.1

* Denotes a pitcher is pitching in this series.

This years version of the Cubs has not been all that impressive. They have struggled to score runs, especially on their previous road trip. They will have to put up some runs to compete with the Dodgers in this series. The Cubs starting pitching has been decent, but they obviously miss Rich Harden who is on the 15-Day DL with a lower back strain. The Cubs are a better fielding team than the Dodgers, their best fielder so far this year being shortstop Ryan Theriot. Still, Matt Kemp is the best fielder on either team. The most glaring weakness of this Cubs team is their bullpen and it's propensity for walking batters (BB/9: C.Marmol 7.71, A.Heilman 6.86, D.Patton 6.28, K.Gregg 5.59). An exciting player to watch in this series is RF-Jake Fox for the Cubs, who was just recently called up after putting up historically great numbers in AAA (Fangraphs: Free Jake Fox).

Last 15 Games, Dodgers: 11-4
Last 15 Games, Cubs: 7-8

Last 5 Games, Dodgers: 4-1
Last 15 Games, Cubs: 7-8

Series Pitching Matchups
G1: R.Wolf vs R.Wells
G2: C.Billingsley vs T.Lilly
G3: E.Stults vs R.Dempster
G4: E.Milton vs S.Marshall

Source for stats: Fangraphs

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