Cubs vs. Dodgers Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Dodgers are a -200 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Cubs are a +170 underdog and the over-under is set at 7 runs.
Los Angeles won four of six meetings during the regular season and the total went under in five of the games. The Cubs advanced to the NLCS by holding on for a 9-8 win at the Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS, while the Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks as it won Game 3 by a count of 3-1 in Arizona.
Pitching for the Cubs will be Jose Quintana (11-11. 4.15 ERA), while the Dodgers go with Kershaw (18-4, 2.31). Quintana carried a 1.22 WHIP with 207 strikeouts in 188 2/3 innings during the regular season. He allowed one unearned run on two hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over 5 2/3 innings in a 2-1 victory over the Nationals in Game 3. He also made a relief appearance in Game 5, throwing two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run. Quintana is 5-7 with a 3.44 ERA over 99 1/3 innings on the road this season. He has not faced the Dodgers this season. Kershaw posted a 0.95 WHIP with 202 strikeouts in 175 innings during the regular season. He allowed four earned runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and three walks over 6 1/3 innings in a 9-5 home win over the Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the NLDS. Kershaw went 9-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 90 2/3 innings at home this season. He was hit hard by the Cubs earlier this season at home as he allowed four earned runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts and two walks over 4 1/3 innings this year in a no-decision. Kershaw has a 4.63 ERA ERA in 95 1/3 postseason innings, not indicative of the pitcher widely regarded as the best in the game.
A major blow for the Dodgers will be the absence of shortstop Corey Seager, who was left off the NLCS roster due to injury.
The Cubs ralled from a 4-1 deficit to win Game 5 versus the Nationals. scoring four runs in the fifth off Max Scherzer. Jon Jay was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Willson Contreras went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs. Addison Russell was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run and four RBIs. Brian Duensing picked up the win in relief, while Wade Davis threw a season-high 44 pitches and 2 1/3 innings to earn the save.
Los Angeles won Game 3 at Arizona by a count of 3-1 as Justin Turner went 2-for-5, while Cody Bellinger was 2-for-4 with a home run plus a walk and two RBIs. Darvish gave up one earned run and struck out seven over five innings to get the win. Kenley Jansen recorded the save.
Jay was 3-for-11 in the NLDS with two doubles and two runs. Russell was 4-for-18 with two doubles and four RBIs. Contreras and Anthony Rizzo both contributed a home run. For the Dodgers, Austin Barnes was 4-for-8 with a double and a home run versus Arizona. Turner was 6-for-13 with a home run and five RBIs. Yasiel Puig finished 5-for-11 with a double, a triple and four RBIs.
Quintana gives the Cubs a much better shot than Lackey, but he hasn't exactly been infallible this season. The Dodgers will stack some right-handed bats against him at home, where they have been strong all season including the two games in LA during the NLCS. Kershaw has had his own postseason struggles and has allowed an OPS of .164 higher to left-handed bats than right-handed hitters this year. So expect someone like Anthony Rizzo, who has two home runs in his career versus Kershaw, to have a big day. Seven runs is certainly attainable and with a tired Cubs closer in Wade Davis, this game certainly tilts toward the over.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: CHICAGO CUBS/LOS ANGELES DODGERS OVER 7