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Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers (Probable Pitchers from August 3 Through August 5, 2012): Cub Fan’s Preview

Yahoo Contributor Network

The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers will play a three-game series at Dodgers Stadium from August 3 through August 5, 2012. The Cubs' probable pitchers include Jeff Samardzija, Chris Volstad and Justin Germano. The Dodgers' probable pitchers include Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw and Aaron Harang.

The Cubs won two of three games when these teams met at Wrigley Field from May 4 through May 6. The Cubs have a 43-60 record. The Dodgers have a 56-50 record. The Cubs have lost two consecutive games. The Dodgers have lost three consecutive games. The Cubs have a 16-36 road record. The Dodgers have a 29-23 home record.

All times are central time zone. The probable pitchers are updated as of August 2 on Cubs.mlb.com. The Cubs are represented by the pitchers in italics. Batter versus pitcher data is from ESPN.

August 3, 9:10 p.m.

Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.19 ERA) vs. Chad Billingsley (6-9, 3.89 ERA)

Jeff Samardzija didn't pitch when these teams met in May. Current Dodgers hitters are 8-for-25 (.320 batting average) with a .346 on-base percentage (OBP) against Samardzija. Recently-acquired Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino could play a key role in this contest. Ramirez is 6-for-12 (.500 batting average) with one double against Samardzija. Victorino is 2-for-4 (.500 batting average) with two RBIs, home run, triple and walk.

August 4, 8:10 p.m.

Chris Volstad (0-7, 7.94 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.95 ERA)

Chris Volstad surrendered five earned runs in five innings when these teams met on May 5. The Dodgers won 5-1. Volstad hasn't won a start since July 10, 2011. He's starting this game because of the injury to Matt Garza and the trades of Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm.

Current Dodgers hitters are 34-for-137 (.248 batting average) with a .303 OBP against him. Victorino is 9-for-32 (.281 batting average) with three RBIs, two home runs, two walks, triple and double. Matt Kemp has also homered against Volstad.

August 5, 3:10 p.m.

Justin Germano (1-1, 1.98 ERA) vs. Aaron Harang (7-6, 3.76 ERA)

Justin Germano was the winning pitcher in the Cubs' 14-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 30. Germano surrendered two earned runs in five innings en route to his first victory since being acquired in mid-July. Germano has surrendered three earned runs in 13.2 innings with the Boston Red Sox and Cubs in 2012.

Fan's Take

Volstad vs. Kershaw is one of the biggest pitching mismatches of the entire season. The Dodgers also have home-field advantage. The Cubs will have an incredibly difficult time winning this series because of those two notes. There best chance to win a game in this series may come when Samardzija takes the mound on August 3.

The Cubs need good pitching performances from all of their pitchers in the pitcher-friendly Dodgers stadium.

Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid-90s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months. He can be found on Twitter HERE.

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