Wolf Gets Start

The Chicago Cubs are coming off a rare win against a left-handed starter. They might have a harder time doing it against Randy Wolf.

Wolf looks to win his fourth straight start for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series against the Cubs.

Oddsmakers have made Los Angeles -110 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 8 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 67% of bets for this game have been placed on Chicago -110 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Chicago (22-25) scored four runs in five innings against Mark Hendrickson in a 4-2 win over Los Angeles (28-21) on Saturday, improving to 4-7 against left-handed starters.

The Cubs will now face Wolf (6-3, 3.75 ERA), the Dodgers' top lefty starter, who has posted a 1.89 ERA while striking out 22 in 19 innings en route to winning his last three starts - all at home.

Wolf gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings as the Dodgers beat Milwaukee 3-2 on Tuesday night. He is 2-5 with a 4.76 ERA in 11 starts against Chicago, but hasn't faced the Cubs since Aug. 1, 2004.

Several key hitters for the Cubs have struggled against Wolf, including Aramis Ramirez (.231), NL batting leader Derrek Lee (.231), Michael Barrett (.217) and Mark DeRosa (.227).

Jeff Kent and Rafael Furcal expect to be back in the starting lineup Sunday for Los Angeles, which had a three-game winning streak snapped. Kent got a scheduled day off Saturday following a night game, although he struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

Furcal was scratched due to a stiff right knee hours before the first pitch. He enters with a 12-game hitting streak, batting .481 (25-for-52) in that span to raise his average from .228 to .302.

"I was limping and they didn't want to take a chance it would be longer," Furcal told the Dodgers' Web site. "I think I'll be OK tomorrow. I took a lot of treatment today."

Kent, Furcal and the Dodgers' lineup will be facing Rich Hill (4-4, 3.38), who will try to end a personal three-game losing streak when he gets the ball for the Cubs on Sunday. Hill has a 7.41 ERA during his skid with all the losses coming on the road.

The left-hander gave up five runs and six hits while striking out a season-high eight in six innings as Chicago lost 5-1 at San Diego on Tuesday night.

This will be Hill's first career appearance against the Dodgers.

Relievers Will Ohman and Ryan Dempster held the Dodgers scoreless over the final 1 1-3 innings Saturday, helping the Cubs bounce back from an embarrassing performance from their bullpen. Two Chicago relievers combined to give up four runs in the eighth inning of a 9-8 loss in the series opener Friday.

"These kids are going to start pitching good ball out of the bullpen. I really mean that," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "We have the arms out there to get this thing done. There's no question in my mind."

The Cubs have won seven of their last nine games at Dodger Stadium.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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