Los Angeles Dodgers (6-1 SU, 6-1 RL, 3-3-1 O/U) vs. Chicago Cubs (4-5 SU, 3-6 RL, 2-6-1 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, October 19, 2017, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois, 8 pm ET
Lines: Chicago +148, Los Angeles -158; Over/Under: 7
The National League Championship Series continues on in the Windy City. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the visiting team for Game 5 of the best of seven series with the Chicago Cubs Thursday night. Los Angeles took the first three games of the series to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. Chicago staved off elimination as they picked up a 3-2 win in Game 4 to avoid a sweep Wednesday night. Can the Dodgers close things out or will the Cubs send this series back to the City of Angels for Game 6?
Los Angeles Dodgers Seeking NL Pennant
Los Angeles had their chances to sweep the series on a night with the wind blowing out at Wrigley but couldn’t capitalize. As a result, they’ll try once again to close the series out to earn their first National League pennant since 1988. Los Angeles drew eight walks in the contest but finished with only four hits. Justin Turner (his second of the series) and Cody Bellinger (his first) each hit solo homers in the game for the Dodgers. Representing the potential winning run, Bellinger bounced into a game-ending double play. Alex Wood (0-1) took the loss as he allowed three runs on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over 4.2 innings.
Clayton Kershaw gets the call for the Dodgers as he makes his third start of the postseason after 27 regular season starts. He was 18-4 with a 2.31 ERA, a 0.949 WHIP, 30 walks and 202 strikeouts over 175 innings of action. In the postseason, he is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA, a 1.147 WHIP, four walks and 11 strikeouts over 11.1 innings in the postseason. Kershaw recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came in Game 1 of the NLCS at home against the Cubs Saturday. He allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts over five innings in an eventual 5-2 Dodgers win. Kershaw is 1-0 with a 5.28 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP, four walks and 13 strikeouts over 15.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his 11th career start against the Cubs here: he is 5-3 with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.175 WHIP over 63 innings of work. Kershaw is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.222 WHIP over 18 innings in his three career starts at Wrigley Field.
Chicago Cubs Try to Stave Off Elimination
Chicago managed to pick up a win with their backs to the wall as they scraped out enough offense to get the win. The Cubs now look to send the series back to Los Angeles but it will take another gritty performance from the entire roster. Chicago finished with five hits in the game and three of them left the yard. Javier Baez hit a pair of solo homers, his first two of the series, including the eventual game-winner in the fifth inning. Willson Contreras was responsible for the other run with a massive 491-foot blast in the second inning. Jake Arrieta (1-1), in what could be his final start for the Cubs at Wrigley Field, picked up the win. He allowed one run on three hits with five walks and nine strikeouts over 6.2 innings. Wade Davis pitched two innings, allowing a run on one hit with three walks and three strikeouts for his first save of the series and fourth of the playoffs.
Jose Quintana is projected to take the ball for his fourth appearance and third start of the postseason after 32 regular season starts. He was 11-11 with a 4.15 ERA, a 1.224 WHIP, 61 walks and 207 strikeouts over 188.2 innings in the regular season. Quintana has no record with a 1.59 ERA, a 0.794 WHIP with four walks and 1 strikeouts over 11.1 innings in the postseason. He didn’t factor in the decision in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers. In that start, Quintana recorded a no-decision as he allowed two runs on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts over five innings in a 5-2 Cubs loss. He has no record with a 3.52 ERA, a 0.85 WHIP, three walks and 16 strikeouts over 15.1 innings in his last three starts. Quintana is 0-1 with a 0.95 ERA and a 0.895 WHIP over 19 innings in his three career starts against the Dodgers. He is 5-1 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.073 WHIP over 59.2 innings of work in 10 career starts at Wrigley Field.
- Dodgers are 2-9 in their last 11 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game
- Dodgers are 2-11 in their last 13 League Championship road games
- Cubs are 19-7 in their last 26 home games
Neither of these pitchers made it to the sixth inning or factored in the decision in Game 1 of this series. Kershaw is an elite pitcher but he has had his share of issues in postseason action. He gave up four homers Game 1 of the NLDS against Arizona and was tagged for one by Albert Almora Jr. in Game 1 of this set. Oddly enough, the Cubs have scored first in each of the four games but have just one win to show for it. In this one, Chicago does just enough to scratch out another win and send this one to a Game 6 in the City of Angels.
Pick: Chicago Cubs
Chicago ground out a win in Game 4 to avoid elimination but one has to wonder if Davis will have anything left in the tank. He threw 48 pitches to earn the save and came up with the critical pitches to get the Cubs the win. Arrieta was sharp in his start as he gave Chicago everything he had. Baez was 0 for 20 in the postseason before hitting solo homers in his first two at-bats. The Dodgers battled and fought but couldn’t come up with the critical hits that they needed. That was a major change from what transpired in the first three games of the series.
The under is 4-0-1 in the Dodgers’ last 5 overall, 4-0 in their last 4 League Championship road games, 6-0 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning record, 6-0-1 in their last 7 road games and 8-0-1 in their last 9 vs. National League Central foes. Chicago has seen the under go 3-0-1 in their last 4 overall, 4-0 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record, 5-0 in their last 5 playoff home games and 5-0 in their last 5 home games. As this series goes, this is likely another contest that stays under the total.