Dodgers at Cubs Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 8/1/2013
The red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers kick off an eight-game road trip this Thursday night with the first of a four-game weekend set against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. This series opener is set to get underway at 8:05 p.m. (ET), and it will be available on MLB Extra Innings.
The Dodgers head into Wednesday night’s two-game series finale against the Yankees as the hottest team in the Majors over the past month or so. Since the all-star break they are 10-1, and they closed out the first half of the season with an 11-4 run.
It has been another disappointing season for the Cubs as they are 10 games below .500 heading into Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee. They have been one of the worst home teams in the National League this season with a record of 22-29.
Dodgers at Cubs Betting Storylines
Los Angeles has been getting it done with both its arms and its bats during this historic run. The Dodgers pitching staff has climbed to fifth in the NL with a team ERA of 3.52 while their overall hitting is ranked second with a .265 team batting average. Led by Adrian Gonzalez and rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, LA has scored four or more runs in 14 of 23 outings in the month of July to raise its season average to an even four runs a game.
Look for Ricky Nolasco to get the start in this series opener. The right-hander is coming off seven days of rest and is 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA since coming to LA from Miami. Overall he is 6-9 this season in 22 starts but boasting a respectable ERA of 3.72 given the team he was on. Nolasco has not allowed more than three earned runs in eight of his last nine starts. Lifetime against Chicago he is 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA.
Cubs’ fans have had little to cheer about this season with a team that is ranked 10th in the NL in pitching with a staff ERA of 3.91 and a lineup that is averaging 3.9 runs a game, which is ranked ninth. Over its last eight games Chicago has managed to exceed this average just twice, but it still has four victories to show for it. This could only get worse after deciding to trade its best hitter Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees this past week.
Chris Rusin is slated to get the start for the Cubs on Thursday night. The left-hander is coming off a quality outing against San Francisco in which he held the Giants scoreless over seven innings. This will be just his 11th start in the majors over the past two seasons and his fourth this season. Rusin is 1-0 in three previous outings this year with a 2.93 ERA.
Dodgers at Cubs MLB Betting Odds and Trends
The Dodgers are 16-5 in their last 21 road games and 9-1 in the first game of their last 10 series. The total has stayed “under” in six of their last eight road games against a left-handed starter.
The Cubs are 4-1 in their last five games against the NL West but 0-4 in their last four games at home against a right-handed starter. The total has stayed under in Game 1 in five of their last six series.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the home team is 6-3 in the last nine meetings, and the total has stayed under in six of those games. This will be the first meeting this season, but Los Angeles is 4-1 in the last five games dating back to last year.
Dodgers at Cubs Picks and Betting Predictions
While there is always a risk betting against a home underdog with such a high money line, it is even riskier betting against the Dodgers right now. This team is firing on all cylinders, and it has a clear edge in this matchup with Nolasco on the mound. Given both team’s recent trends on the total line, a play on the under could also warrant strong consideration for Thursday night’s game.
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