Joc Pederson leads off and plays left in his return to LA, Kris Bryant is at third, Javier Báez handles short, and Anthony Rizzo is at first. Willson Contreras is behind the dish, Rafael Ortega is in center, Jason Heyward is in right, and Eric Sogard rounds out the position player portion of the lineup at second.
Zach Davies had been cruising along for the most part since the start of May, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.86 ERA, but that came to a crashing halt in his last start. That’s when he allowed eight earned runs on seven hits and three walks with just two strikeouts against the Marlins. It wasn’t his worst start of the season because he completed six innings, but Davis has to be better tonight.
Dodgers starter Walker Buehler got a no-decision when he faced the Cubs during that sweep at Wrigley in May, but he only allowed two runs with eight strikeouts and no walks. Contrary to his first name, Buehler has long displayed excellent control and he’s off to a tremendous start to the season with just 19 bases on balls in 90.2 innings. He loves to attack with first-pitch strikes and he works in the zone more than most pitchers.
Buehler’s fastball velocity sits around 96 mph, but he’s throwing his hard stuff a little less than before. After grading out as one of his worst pitches last season, the sinker is one of his best this year. The curve, however, remains a work in progress and hasn’t been used as much after seeing more of a bump in the early going.
After starting out with some difficulty against left-handed hitters, Buehler has gotten his splits a little more in line with his more even historical performance. He’s not a big strikeout guy despite being an elite strike-thrower, but the Cubs have struggled at times to make contact and could have a very tough battle in this one.
First pitch from Chavez Ravine is scheduled for 9:10pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 24, 2021