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Cubs/Dodgers

The Cubs finally broke out of their offensive mini-slump last night, putting up 10 runs against the Dodgers and evening the series at two games apiece. That means this isn’t an elimination game, so there’s no need to consider starting anyone on short rest to save the season. Jon Lester and Kenta Maeda will start in a repeat of the Game 1 pitching matchup.

Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) at Los Angeles Dodgers (Kenta Maeda), 8:00 PM ET

PECOTA odds of winning: 53% Dodgers, 47% Cubs

Projected Starting Lineups

Cubs vs. Maeda (R)

Dodgers vs. Lester (L)

Dexter Fowler (S), CF

Howie Kendrick (R), LF

Kris Bryant (R), 3B

Justin Turner (R), 3B

Anthony Rizzo (L), 1B

Corey Seager (L), SS

Ben Zobrist (S), LF

Yasiel Puig (R), RF

Addison Russell (R), SS

Adrian Gonzalez (L), 1B

Jason Heyward (L), RF

Yasmani Grandal (S), C

Javier Baez (R), 2B

Enrique Hernandez (R), 2B

David Ross (R), C

Joc Pederson (L), CF

Jon Lester (L), P

Kenta Maeda (R), P

Injuries/Availability

The Cubs’ sizable lead in the later innings of Game 4 allowed both teams to rest their closers, so expect both Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen to be available for two-plus innings tonight if needed, especially with an off day tomorrow. Neither team worked any reliever particularly hard yesterday, so everyone in both pens should be available for work. With the series tied 2-2, neither team is likely to use a starter out of the bullpen barring a long extra-inning game.

Carl Edwards Jr. will probably be unavailable out of the bullpen for Chicago after leaving yesterday’s game with left hamstring tightness. Mike Montgomery and Alex Wood are unlikely to throw more than an inning after throwing two innings each in Game 4.

Outlook

The Cubs scored three runs in four innings against Kenta Maeda in Game 1, and that was before Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell found their power strokes in Game 4. With his bullpen rested and an off day tomorrow, expect Dave Roberts to have a quick hook with Maeda. He knows that his team will have a tough time putting together a rally against a tough lefty starter and a tougher lefty closer.

It’s not a secret that the Dodgers struggle against left-handed pitching. In theory, that makes Jon Lester a tough matchup. In practice, Lester threw six strong innings against Los Angeles in Game 1, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out three. If Lester puts up another line like that tonight, the Cubs are a decent bet to head back to Chicago leading the series three games to two.