Chicago Cubs (43-60, 16-36 away) and Los Angeles Dodgers (56-50, 29-23 home) lock horns at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California in Game 1 (10:10 PM ET, August 3, 2012) of the three game series. This weekend, each team’s new players will be at Dodger Stadium, as the Cubs open a six-game road trip on Friday. The Cubs will send Jeff Samardzija to the hill against Chad Billingsley in the first of three games at Chavez Ravine. The betting odds for the game has the Dodgers (11/17), while the Cubs (13/9).
The Dodgers take on the visiting Cubs in the opener of their three-game series Friday night in a matchup of teams busy at the deadline for opposite reasons. Los Angeles (56-50) picked up outfielder Shane Victorino from Philadelphia and reliever Brandon League from Seattle prior to Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline, after acquiring third baseman Hanley Ramirez and reliever Randy Choate from Miami on July 25.
The club has not been delivering on the field; while Dodgers management is “in it to win it,” according to team partner Magic Johnson. Los Angeles opens this set after totaling four runs and batting .161 in a three-game sweep by visiting Arizona, though in a tight battle for the NL West lead. At home, the Dodgers have dropped seven of eight games.
Chad Billingsley (6-9, 3.89 ERA) tries to win his third straight start, as they hope can get them on track. Following a stint on the disabled list with elbow inflammation, the right-hander has posted a 0.68 ERA in his last two outings. He had a 6.21 ERA while losing his previous five starts.
Jeff Samardzija went 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA in five July appearances. Throwing eight scoreless innings on July 23 and allowing two runs in six innings on July 28, he has recorded quality starts in two straight outings. The right-hander went 0-4 with a 10.41 ERA. He would do well to continue July’s success in August rather than that of June.
Batting .350 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 18 games, Matt Kemp has done plenty of damage for Los Angeles since returning from the disabled list. Earlier this season, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro went 6 for 14 with three RBIs against Los Angeles. First baseman Anthony Rizzo will get his first look at Dodgers pitching in a Cubs uniform. In 2011, he was 2 for 11 versus Los Angeles while with San Diego. Chicago won two of three in its last trip to Los Angeles from May 2-4, 2011.