2008 NLDS Preview: Cubs Run Prevention vs. Dodgers Scoring

Let's finish the preview and see what the Cubs pitching can do against the Dodgers bats.

Dodgers Offense vs. Cubs Pitching and Defense

Dodgers Hitting: .264/.333/.399 .732 OPS(11th in OPS), 126 SB's at a 75% success rate (3rd and 5th respectively)

Cubs Pitching: .242/.316/.395 .711 OPS, 3.87 ERA (1st in BA, 3rd in ERA, , 2nd in the rest,)

Dodgers Hitting vs. Right Handers: .260/.326/.390 .716 OPS

Dodgers Hitting vs. Leftt Handers: .275/.350/.419 .769 OPS

Cubs Pitching vs. Right Handers: .237/.302/.385 .687 OPS

Cubs Pitching vs. Left Handers: .249/.336/.409 .745 OPS

Dodgers are 53-57 when a right-handed pitchers starts the game, 31-21 when a left-handers starts.

Cubs Defense: .706 (1st in NL), .832 RZR (6th in the NL)

Cubs Rotation: , , ,

All Dodgers vs. Ryan Dempster () : 175 AB's vs current Cubs with an aggregate line of: .303/.376/.474 .851 OPS, 2.92 ERA in 12.1 IP versus the Dodgers this year.
Best Dodgers Hiiter: Andruw Jones has a .908 OPS against him in 40 AB's

Worst Dodgers Hitter: Jeff Kent has a .688 OPS in 33 AB's.

Trend: 5-2 in his last 10 starts with a 3.10 ERA

All Dodgers vs. Carlos Zambrano ()
: 199 AB's vs current Cubs with an aggregate line of: .221/.313/.296
.609 OPS

Best Dodgers Hiiter: Russell Martin has a 1.513 OPS against him in 13 AB's

Worst Dodgers Hitter: Rafael Furcal has a .384 OPS in 23 AB's.

Trend: 2-2 in his last 9 starts with a 7.28 ERA

All Dodgers vs. Rich Harden ()
: 34 AB's vs current Cubs with an aggregate line of: .147/.293/.441
.734 OPS

Best Dodgers Hiiter: Manny Ramirez has a 1.519 OPS against him in 11 AB's

Worst Dodgers Hitter: Casey Blake is 0 for 8 against him in his career.

Trend: 1-0 in his last 3 starts with a 2.65 ERA

All Dodgers vs. Ted Lilly ()
: 144 AB's vs current Cubs with an aggregate line of: .243/.315/.528
.843 OPS

Best Dodgers Hiiter: Manny Ramirez has a .959 OPS against him in 42 AB's

Worst Dodgers Hitter: Casey Blake has a .673 OPS in 21 AB's.

Trend: 4-0 in his last 4 starts with a 1.93 ERA

Cubs Bullpen: 4.10 ERA as relievers was 8th in the NL. 1.73 was 5th in the NL.

Likely to See: , , ,

September Stats for Dodgers Hitters ():

Nomar Garciaparra: 1.403 OPS

Jeff Kent 1.375 OPS (in 8 AB's)

Andre Ethier 1.249 OPS, 8 2B's

Manny Ramirez 1.218 OPS, 8 HR's

Blake DeWitt .872 OPS, 18 BB's

Pablo Ozuna .833 OPS

Russell Martin .785 OPS

Juan Pierre .758 OPS

Matt Kemp .750 OPS

Casey Blake .711 OPS

Angel Berroa .689 OPS

James Loney .526 OPS

Rafael Furcal .522 OPS (in 4 Ab's)

Danny Ardoin .500 OPS

Some Questions:

  1. Will Ryan Dempster keep it going in the playoffs?
  2. How healthy and effective are Zambrano and Harden?
  3. Who will bridge the gap between the starters and Marmol and Wood?
  4. Can the Dodgers offense sustain their recent hot streak?
  5. How effective will Rafael Furcal be?
  6. Will the Cubs pitch to Manny Ramirez and if not, can the rest of the Dodgers lineup make the Cubs pay?

Thoughts: The only reason this series has any chance of being interesting is because questions linger on whether Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden are healthy enough to be at the top of their games.  That and the fact that Lou might use Bob Howry in a game. Nonetheless, the Dodgers offense certainly did improve with the addition of Manny Ramirez, going from 4.14 Runs Scored per game to 4.70, which if they had done that all year would be good for the 6th best offense rather than 13th. I already brought up my concerns that the Dodgers hot streak was inflated by a soft September schedule, but there's no doubt they are a better team than their full season numbers show.

Unfortunately no one but Zambrano and Harden (and maybe Lou) really know if they're at full strength and if they're not, there isn't much any Cubs or their fans can do about it. Sure, Lou could move Lilly up earlier in the series, but the Dodgers have had a lot more luck against lefties than righties, so there isn't much to gain.

The only real concern I have is if the starters can go at least six and hopefully seven innings. The bridge between the starters and Marmol and Wood is the weak link of this team and every pitch made by someone other than Dempster, Zambrano, Harden, Lilly or Marmol is a going to be a dangerous one. 

Defensively, the Cubs probably have been pretty solid all year. Lee and Fukudome are probably the two best defenders but there really isn't a weak member in the entire group. Soriano can be a little adventurous, but he also keeps teams from even thinking of taking an extra base and Ramirez's little bout of wild throws seems to have ended. 

Final Prediction: Cubs in 4.  They split at Wrigley and the Cubs take both at Dodger Stadium.

 

Comments

...

I'm hoping the Cubs can take the two at home. I have over 40 years of horrid memories of late nights watching the Cubs blow games on the west coast. (actually I lived in LA for over a decade so a quarter of the bad memories are first hand) Just so many games where the Cubs held what was often an anemic Dodger offense down for eight innings only to have someone like Ken Landreaux (sp?) beat them with a two-out two run bloop double just inside the line. I remember many times turning off the TV before Brickhouse or Harry could even finish saying the game was over. Dodger Stadium is a great example of what's wrong with Los Angeles. It, like too many major gathering places in LA, is a suburban entity with zero public transportation set down in the middle of a city. But it's the Cubs losing too many heartbreakers there that really makes me hate it. And everyone always saying how great Dodger Dogs are. And the fans who come late, leave early and don't make a peep until the scoreboard or music on the PA tells them to.

Me too, actually. I remember a lot of nights up until one or two in the morning only to watch the Cubs lose to the Rockies or the Giants on WGN. Not good times.

Well, it's official. The fingernail-gnawing has begun.

The fingernail-biting began Monday for me. Thank goodness there actually were baseball games to watch and not a whole lot of nothing. I think the most relevant question for Dodger run production less whether Furcal contributes, but whether the hitters batting before Manny Ramirez get on base. Before the last week of the season and Furcal's return, the 1-2 hitters had been Martin and Andre Ethier, who did a nice impression of Pujols in August and September. But in last week it had adjusted to Kemp and Martin, Furcal and Kent, or Furcal and DeWitt, with the occasional dose of Juan Pierre thrown in. Keeping the Dodger 1-2 hitters off base, no matter who they are, will be the key to this series. Do that and take pitches from Derek Lowe tonight and we should be fine. Should be.

I believe the Cubs website has been updated with the active roster for the playoffs: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/roster_activ... It has Pie active and hoffpauer non-active....The thing that pisses me off is that Howry is still active...The only way that guy should be used is in the 9th inning if we are down 10....which should be never.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 27 min ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   

     

  • JustSayin' 20 hours 40 min ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 10 min ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 

     

  • JustSayin' 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.

     

  • crunch 3 days 33 min ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.

     

  • crunch 5 days 16 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.

     

  • crunch 5 days 22 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...

     

  • JustSayin' 6 days 1 hour ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca

     

  • crunch 6 days 22 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...

     

  • bradsbeard 1 week 6 hours ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 8 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 12 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   

     

  • jdrnym 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.

     

  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."

    ---