Cubs vs. Dodgers Pick
Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series via a 5-2 victory Saturday night. The Dodgers have won five of seven games in the season series and have prevailed in the last four meetings. The over-under is 1-5-1 in those games.
Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA) draws the start for the Cubs, while the Dodgers will go with Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32). Lester posted a 1.32 WHIP with 180 strikeouts in 180 2/3 innings during the regular season. He gave up one earned run on two hits with two strikeouts and two walks over six innings in a 6-3 Game 2 loss at the Nationals. He also allowed one earned run on one hit with three strikeouts and one walk over 3 2/3 innings of relief in a 5-0 home loss in Game 4. Lester has a 6-5 record with a 4.41 ERA in 81 2/3 road innings this season. He has made two starts against the Dodgers and posted a 6.75 ERA and an 0-1 record with seven earned runs allowed on 11 hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks over 9 1/3 innings. Hill carried a 1.09 WHIP with 166 strikeouts in 135 2/3 innings during the regular season. He gave up two earned runs on three hits with four strikeouts and three walks in four innings of work during an 8-5 home win over the Diamondbacks in Game 2 of the NLDS. Hill has an 8-5 home reucrd with a 2.77 ERA in 78 innings. He has not yet faced the Cubs this season.
In the series opener, Los Angeles overcame a 2-0 deficit with five unanswered runs. Chris Taylor was 2-for-4 with a solo home run at the top of the lineup. Logan Forsythe was 1-for-2 with two walks and a run. Yasiel Puig finished 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBIs. Austin Barnes walked twice and scored a run. Kenta Maeda earned the win in relief, while Kenley Jansen pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the save.
Lester has been rejuvenated as of late, looking unlike the pitcher who was trying to figure it out much of the season. The Cubs didn't use closer Wade Davis in Saturday's game, so he should be rested enough after his marathon save in Game 5 versus the Nationals. If Chicago can get six or seven quality innings out of Lester before turning it to the bullpen, it would be a great formula for a victory. Additionally, with Corey Seager off the NLCS roster for the Dodgers it takes one potent bat away for Lester to have to face. Hill has had an outstanding season, but he is no Clayton Kershaw and Chicago has the bats to touch him up.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: CHICAGO CUBS +136