When the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs meet Saturday, the teams will share three All-Star Game starters between them, although the question is how many will be on the field.
The Dodgers had two players voted as National League starters with right fielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Trea Turner named to the squad for the Midsummer Classic, to be played July 19 at Dodger Stadium.
The Cubs had catcher Willson Contreras named as a starter, although he has not played since Monday with a tight left hamstring. He remains day-to-day and expects to play in at least one of the remaining two games of the current series.
“He deserves everything coming his way,” Cubs manager David Ross said of the All-Star honor. “He’s done a phenomenal job for us. … (He is) in pretty rare company in Cubs history, too, starting his third All-Star Game.”
The Cubs are the only organization Contreras has known since making his minor league debut in 2009. He made his first NL All-Star team in 2018, repeated the feat in 2019 and is back again after batting .274 this season with 13 home runs and 35 RBIs.
He becomes the 10th player to wear a Cubs uniform in at least three All-Star Games.
If Contreras plays Saturday, he will be behind the plate for the return of right-hander Marcus Stroman (2-5, 5.32 ERA), who has missed just over a month with shoulder inflammation. Stroman’s presence will be a welcome sight with starters Wade Miley, Drew Smyly and Kyle Hendricks all on the injured list for the Cubs.
In two career starts against the Dodgers, Stroman is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA.
The Dodgers will counter with left-hander Clayton Kershaw (5-2, 2.57), who is expected to be named to the NL All-Star team on Sunday. In 14 career starts against the Cubs, Kershaw is 8-4 with a 2.75 ERA and has 105 strikeouts in 85 innings.
In his most recent start Sunday, Kershaw held the San Diego Padres scoreless over seven innings, to rebound from an outing at Colorado on June 28 in which he gave up season highs in runs (six) and hits (nine).
Betts celebrated his spot place on the NL All-Star team with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to tie Friday’s game. The Dodgers beat the Cubs in the 10th inning on an RBI single from Will Smith.
“It means a lot,” Betts said of the honor. “Any time you can be amongst the best of the best, you know you’re doing something good.”
While Betts was named to his sixth All-Star team, Turner was named to his second. It was his first nod with the Dodgers after playing in the contest last season as a member of the Washington Nationals.
“I think every one is special but it’s going to be really cool,” Turner said of an All-Star Game in L.A. “It’s going to be exciting to be out here. Hopefully a lot of these guys in here will make it too and we can share that experience with the fans and play on our home field.”
The Dodgers will take an eight-game overall winning streak against the Cubs into Saturday’s game. Five of those eight games in the streak have come this season.
The Dodgers are also 8-1 on a season-long 11-game homestand, their final one before the All-Star break.
–Field Level Media