The Chicago Cubs take their longest winning streak in more than a month into the second contest of their four-game series with the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. The Cubs have won three straight after opening the set with a 4-2 victory behind a pair of home runs by rookie Kris Bryant.
Bryant powered the Cubs past Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Monday, and Los Angeles hopes Zack Greinke can even the series. The Dodgers have totaled four runs in the last three games Greinke has started and have scored two or fewer six of the last seven times he has taken the mound. Los Angeles has dropped six of its last eight contests and is trying to avoid losing a third consecutive series. The Cubs need a deep outing from Jason Hammel after leaning on the bullpen for seven innings on Monday following Tsuyoshi Wada’s departure with a shoulder cramp.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, SportsNet Los Angeles, CSN Chicago
LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Cubs +113. The total remains off the board (as of Tuesday morning).
INJURY REPORT: Dodgers – LF Carl Crawford (Mid July, oblique). Cubs – CF Dexter Fowler (Doubtful, ankle), 2B Tommy La Stella (15-day DL, ribs).
WEATHER REPORT: Temperatures will be in the high-60s under clear skies. Wind will blow from right to leftfield around six miles per hour.
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Dodgers’ Achilles’ heel is their road record of just 12-19. Kershaw is pitching like himself again, but the offense is sputtering right now, plating just 14 runs in six games before Sunday’s 10-run outburst. Both 1B Adrian Gonzalez and OF Joc Pederson have gone from red hot to icy cold. The Cubs were one of four MLB teams last week that put up at least 15 runs on their inter-league opponent when they blanked the Indians 17-0 on Wednesday (Orioles, Phils, and Rays were the others). They finished the week on a high note against Twins, but have a tough schedule ahead.” Covers Expert Al McMordie.
Kenley Jansen’s girlfriend Candace Cotton and Kris Bryant’s girlfriend Jessica Delp.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.81 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.89)
Greinke has allowed two runs or fewer in 11 of his 14 starts, including each of his last three outings. The 31-year-old struck out eight in seven scoreless innings against Texas in his last turn, but he didn’t receive a decision and remains winless in eight starts since May 5. Greinke is 4-2 with a 4.30 ERA in seven starts against the Cubs but 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA in three outings at Wrigley Field.
Hammel had his last outing shortened by rain and received a no-decision after allowing three runs (two earned) in four innings at Cleveland on Thursday. The 32-year-old has been solid in five home starts, going 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Hammel is 2-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) against the Dodgers, but he has faced them only once since 2011.
* Over is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings.
* Cubs are 1-4 in their last five games with umpire Paul Emmel behind home plate.
* Dodgers are 1-4 in their last five road games.
* Under is 5-1 in Greinkes last six starts overall.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Fifty-nine percent of Covers users are backing Grenike and the Dodgers.