The Chicago Cubs (81-45) have a 14 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals (67-59) and, if we’re being completely honest, are starting to look towards positioning themselves for the playoffs. As of today, their magic number for clinching the division is 23. I just got chills, seriously.
The Cubs come into L.A. tonight as the hottest team in the second half so far with a 28-10 record. The Los Angeles Dodgers (71-56), meanwhile, are 20-16 since the break. And while the Cubs have the best ERA since the break at 2.61, the Dodgers are 25th with a 4.65 ERA.
Not to be overlooked, of course, are the offenses for these two teams. The Cubs have the second-ranked offense since the break based on fWAR of 8.6. And the Dodgers? They are first with 9.7 fWAR. Will this series be a shoot-out? With the Cubs’ stellar pitching you wouldn’t think so but let’s not forget, the Dodgers are in first place, up by two games, in the National League West and they know exactly who’s coming to town and how important this series is. Should be a good one.
Game times and broadcast info
- Friday, August 26, 9:10 PM CT on ABC 7
- Saturday, August 27, 3:05 PM CT on WGN
- Sunday, August 28, 3:10 PM CT on CSN
What to watch for
- This series is bound to feel very much like a play-off environment. These are two teams that lead their division and very well may end up meeting in the postseason. Of course, the Cubs aren’t showing all their cards, especially with Mike Montgomery pitching. The only starting playoff pitcher for the Cubs that the Dodgers will see is Jon Lester.
- After Jason Hammel got shelled in his last outing in Colorado, we’ll have to wait and see how he bounces back in this series.
- It will come as no surprise that Kris Bryant is leading the way for the Cubs so far in the 2nd half, but it’s who’s currently in 2nd that has people’s attention. It’s none other than the Wonder Kid, Addison Russell. He’s slashing .275/.342/.527 with 8 home runs. That guy, Kris Bryant, also has 8 home runs since the break, but we expect it from him. Russell is hitting so well lately it’s scary and his offensive breakout only adds more fire-power to the best offensive team in baseball.