MLB Odds & Picks for Dodgers vs. Cubs: Expect Offenses to Shine in Doubleheader Opener (Tuesday, May 4)

Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Dodgers vs. Cubs Odds — Game 1

Dodgers Odds -205
Cubs Odds +175
Over/Under 5
Time 2:20 p.m. ET
TV MLBTV
Odds as of Tuesday morning via DraftKings.

The first game of the series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs was postponed Monday due to inclement weather, so these sides will play a doubleheader Tuesday instead. The first game starts at 2:20 p.m. ET, with the nightcap scheduled for a 7:40 p.m. ET start.

The Dodgers (17-12), who sit second in the NL West, lead all of baseball with a +45 run differential. On the other side, the Cubs (12-16) find themselves at the bottom of the NL Central division.

Both teams have been struggling recently, with each entering the series having posted a 3-7 record in their last 10 games. They are at least coming off strong offensive performances, as the Cubs put up 12 runs in a wild 13-12 loss to Cincinnati and the Dodgers off a 16-4 thumping of the Brewers.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers will send their two aces to the mound, with Clayton Kershaw getting the ball in the opener and Trevor Bauer pithing the second game.

Aside from his first start, Kershaw has been about what you’d expect from a three-time Cy Young winner. He has a 2.09 ERA and 2.49 FIP, allowing no runs in three of his six starts this year. His velocity is down a bit, as you’d expect from a 33-year-old veteran, but he’s throwing his slider more to compensate.

In fact, this is the first season of his career his slider has been his most-thrown pitch instead of the fastball. Luckily for Kershaw, he still has one of the best sliders in baseball, with the fourth-best run value in the league.

Another Cy Young winning will get the ball in Game 2 for the Dodgers. Bauer has been great against anybody not named Fernando Tatis. In six starts with Los Angeles, Bauer is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA and 51 strikeouts. His lone loss came in his last start, despite pitching a complete game and allowing just two hits. Bauer’s fastball has the best run value of any pitch in baseball.

Despite allowing just a .138 opponents’ batting average, the one concern for Bauer this season is his HardHit% is up to 41.4%, and his HR/FB ratio is at 16.3%, both career highs. He has allowed seven home runs this year, and at least one in five of his six starts.

Despite the 16-4 beatdown of the Brewers, the Dodgers’ offense ranks just 24th in batting average; 20th in OPS; and, 16th in wOBA over the course of the last two weeks.

The Dodgers are severely missing Cody Bellinger in the lineup, but have also not gotten the superstar performances they expected from Mookie Betts or Corey Seager. Betts is batting .250 with just six RBIs on the season, and Seager is hitting .257. Max Muncy has gone ice cold, with just two hits in his last 32 at bats.

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Chicago Cubs

I don’t know if you can find a presumed “ace” having a worse season than Kyle Hendricks. After posting a 2.88 ERA last season, Hendricks sits with a 7.54 ERA through his first five starts. In his last outing, he was tagged for seven runs in just 3 3/2 against the Braves.

Opposing batters are hitting .327 against Hendricks, and the biggest concern is his 3.97 HR/9. He has allowed 10 home runs in just 22 innings this season. His changeup has historically been his best pitch, but his off-speed stuff has been absolutely crushed this year, yielding a .400 batting average and .800 slugging percentage.

It looks like Adbert Alzolay will get the start in Game 2 for the Cubs (this has not been confirmed at the time of this writing). The 26-year-old has made four starts this season, and just 10 in his career so far.

Alzolay has a 4.71 ERA and has a gotten better in each start. David Ross has had quick leash for the young right-hander, but he did go a career-high six innings in his last start, allowing just two runs and four hits.

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He has a terrific slider and throws it for 47.2% of his pitches. His slider has allowed just a .114 batting average and has a 36.2 K%. He has struggled with his sinker not really sinking at times, allowing a .313 batting average.

The Cubs have been hitting the ball much better as of late, sitting fourth in the league with a .257 batting average and .335 wOBA over the last two weeks.

In the final year of his contract, Kris Bryant is sure playing like a man trying to earn a boatload of money. Bryant looks like his MVP self, batting .323 this season with a 1.114 OPS. He’s tied for the MLB lead with nine home runs.

Bryant was named NL Player of the Week last week with a slash line of .417/.500/1.042 and 10 hits, three doubles, four homers and 10 RBIs in six games.

Dodgers-Cubs Pick

Despite the success of Kershaw this season, his strikeout rate is slightly down and he’s throwing his slider more than ever. The Cubs have crushed both sliders and left-hander pitchers. They sit eighth in league against sliders, play their top 10 in wOBA, slugging percentage and OPS against lefties.

Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Wilson Contreras have all been excellent against left-handers and all have success against Kershaw in the past, going a combined 22 for 64 (.344) with eight home runs against him.

Despite the Dodgers’ offensive struggles, they’re still feature one of the most talented lineups and hopefully will be able to build on that 16-run output. Hendricks has been a mess this season, and the Dodgers rank fifth in average; second in OPS; and, second in wOBA against right-handed pitching.

Hendricks’ change up has been teed off on all year and Los Angeles ranks fourth in the league against changeups. Justin Turner has been the Dodgers best hitter, plus he has hit changeups better than anybody in the league.

My best bet for the twin bill is for the total to go over five runs in the opener.

Pick: Game 1 — Total Over 5 Runs (-120)

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