Series preview: Cubs at Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- This weekend's series against the Chicago Cubs stands out on the Los Angeles Dodgers' schedule. It will be the Dodgers' only three games out of their first 30 coming out of the All-Star break against a team with a sub-.500 record.

Not that that guarantees anything, but it's a fortuitous time for the Dodgers to be starting their Nos. 4 and 5 starters. They'll also be missing the Cubs' best pitcher, Jake Arrieta.

Rather than trade for a starter at Thursday's deadline, the Dodgers elected to keep their best prospects and hope that Dan Haren can bounce back and that Josh Beckett is healthy. The evaluation period begins this weekend.

Haren (8-8, 4.49 ERA) will be pitching on eight days rest Friday when he faces the Cubs, who are starting Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 2.33). The Dodgers gave Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5, 3.44) an extra day of rest and he usually benefits from those. Saturday, he'll be opposed by Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1, 3.38). The Sunday game features Josh Beckett (6-5, 2.74) and Edwin Jackson (5-11, 5.79).

The Cubs are 4-9 since the All-Star break and they just traded their best utility man, Emilio Bonifacio, and reliever James Russell to the Atlanta Braves for minor-league catcher Victor Caratini. They're coming off their first winning series at Wrigley Field since early June, though it came at the expense of the woeful and injured Colorado Rockies.

The Dodgers were 6-1 against the Cubs last season and outscored them 28-11.