Tuesday’s Game of the Day: Dodgers at Cubs

Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs (A: +185, H: -225, Total: 7.5)

The last time Jake Arrieta faced the Los Angeles Dodgers, he threw his first career no-hitter. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner would have to duplicate that feat Tuesday to top what the Chicago Cubs’ pitchers did to the visiting Dodgers in the opener of the three-game series.

The Cubs need a deep outing from Arrieta after burning through the bullpen Monday. Starter Jason Hammel left after two innings with cramping in his right hamstring before four relievers combined for seven perfect innings to complete a one-hitter in Chicago’s 2-0 victory. The Cubs have won six straight since a season-high three-game losing streak and they’ve allowed a total of five runs over the past four games. Monday’s loss was just the second in eight games for the Dodgers, who have allowed two or fewer runs in six of their last seven contests.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, ESPN, SportsNet Los Angeles, ABC 7 (Chicago)

INJURY REPORT:

Dodgers – CF T. Thompson (Questionable Tuesday, back).

Cubs – CF D. Fowler (Questionable Tuesday, heel).

WEATHER REPORT: There will be the possibility of thunderstorms in the Chicago area Tuesday evening which will also bring with it a 25 percent change of rain throughout the game. As usual at Wrigley Field you have to keep your eyes on the wind forecast – 10 mph wind is expected to be blowing from right field to left field. Temperature at gametime will be in the mid-70’s and there will be significant humidity in the air (65 percent).

HOT FAN BATTLE:

PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Scott Kazmir (4-3, 4.84 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Jake Arrieta (9-0, 1.72)

Kazmir has been wildly inconsistent with his command, as he struck out 12 in his last start after walking seven in his previous outing. The 32-year-old was excellent Wednesday against Cincinnati, allowing one run and four hits over six innings in addition to the 12 strikeouts to win his second straight decision. Kazmir is 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA in two starts against the Cubs, but he hasn’t faced them since 2010 with the Angels.

The Cubs have won Arrieta’s last 23 starts, tying the major-league record set by Atlanta’s Kris Medlen from 2010-12. Arrieta has won 20 straight decisions, including one Wednesday at St. Louis when he didn’t have his best stuff and allowed four runs and seven hits over five innings. Before his no-hitter at Los Angeles last season, Arrieta had struggled in two previous starts against the Dodgers, losing both in 2013.

TRENDS:

* Dodgers are 1-4 in Kazmir’s last 5 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
* Cubs are 4-0 in their last 4 home games vs. a left-handed starter.
* Cubs are 23-5 in Arrieta’s last 28 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 5-0 in Dodgers last 5 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
* Over is 9-1 in Arrieta’s last 10 starts overall.
* Under is 8-0 in the last 8 meetings.

COVERS CONSENSUS: The Covers Consensus data is leaning heavily in favor of Jake Arrieta and the Cubs with 75 percent of the wagers. There is, at the time of publication of this preview, no data on the total due to the standard late release of Wrigley Field totals. View full consensus data here.


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