*** This game was to be played on Tuesday but was PPD due to weather. It will be made up today as a part of a doubleheader. ***
Los Angeles will be looking to put its offensive struggles in the past following Sunday’s 16-4 rout of Milwaukee. The Dodgers are now going to Wrigley Field for a three-game series with the Cubs. Chicago is coming off a heartbreaking 13-12 loss in 10 innings at Cincinnati.
Dodgers needing same offensive effortLos Angeles has not looked like the World Series favorite since its 13-2 start to the season. The Dodgers have only won four of their last 14 games, but that does include Sunday’s 16-4 blowout. They had dropped the first three games in Milwaukee, so it was a welcomed performance for the coaching staff. Los Angeles had the best batting average in the MLB to open the season, but it has fallen all the way to No. 15. It is hitting at a .233 clip. Third baseman Justin Turner leads the team with 34 hits and a .337 average.
Turner has hit a team-high six home runs. Shortstop Corey Seager has 28 hits, while left fielder Chris Taylor has 23 base knocks. They will be facing a Chicago pitching staff that has struggled, listed at No. 26 in the MLB with a team ERA of 4.75. Right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler will start for Los Angeles on Monday night. He is going to hope for a bounce-back outing after giving up five earned runs to Cincinnati last Tuesday. Buehler had notched four straight quality starts prior to that, so he is 1-0 with a 3.16 ERA overall. (edit: pitching change to Clayton Kershaw).
Hendricks hopes to bounce backChicago got over the .500 hump on April 23, but it proceeded to fall immediately under that mark when it lost five consecutive games. The Cubs snapped that streak with a win at Atlanta on Thursday, but they lost two of their three games in Cincinnati over the weekend. They played in one of the most exciting games of the season on Sunday, falling just shy in a 13-12 final that ended on an RBI single in the bottom of the tenth inning. A four-run eighth inning from Chicago had tied the game at 12-12.
The Cubs were dead last in the MLB in team batting average for the first few weeks, but they have made their way to No. 25 (.218). They are still wanting more from a lineup that has Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo, among others. There have been several explosive outings like Sunday, but that effort has not been consistent. Right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs on Tuesday. He was hit hard by Atlanta last Wednesday, allowing seven runs in just 3.2 innings. Hendricks has allowed five total runs in 15 innings against teams other than the Braves this season.
Los Angeles is:
- 4-1 in its last five Monday games
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Neither team has been consistent enough to warrant laying a -180 price tag, so I’ll take a stab on Chicago as a home underdog. The Cubs have shown that they are capable of beating anyone when the offense is playing well. Hendricks has been a solid starter for many years and has been decent outside of his starts against the Braves this season. His lifetime ERA at Wrigley Field is 2.65, so he is confident pitching in his home park. Los Angeles has really hit the skids since getting off to a blazing hot start. This is just too big of a number for an inconsistent team.
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams are capable of hanging crooked numbers like we saw on Sunday, but the inconsistency has actually led to value on the other side. Los Angeles has gone under in six of its last seven road games and is in the midst of a long road trip. The Cubs have cashed the under in eight of their last 10 home games against a team with a winning record. Hendricks and Buehler are both capable starters who have shown flashes this season. This is the kind of bet that could make you look stupid in a hurry, but I think the under is the side with value.