(This is the second game of a doubleheader as the first game of the series on Monday was rained out.)
The Los Angeles Dodgers head just south as they take on the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday evening in game two of their three-game series from Wrigley Field. Tuesday night’s action will be the second game of the doubleheader after Monday’s game was postponed due to rain in Chicago. The Dodgers enter the series a half-game back of the Giants in the NL West standings after going 3-7 in their last ten games, while the Cubs are in last place in the NL Central and have struggled to find much consistency this year, going 3-7 over their last ten as well. The Dodgers are coming off a tough series loss up north in Milwaukee over the weekend that saw them drop three of four to the Brewers. The Cubs lost two of three on the road to the Reds over the weekend and before that had lost five of their previous six games. The Dodgers will be looking to bounce back and right the ship as one of the elite teams in recent baseball memory, while the Cubs are just looking to string together some wins. Which team will make the most of game two of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader?
Dodgers Looking To Find World Series PotentialThe last two weekends have cast some questions over the Dodgers and their long-term outlook. Everyone knows Los Angeles will still be there when things are said and done and the playoff race gets underway, but back to back weekend series losses to the Padres and Brewers have at least shown that they’re human. Heading into Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Dodgers were dealt another blow when it was announced Dustin May would miss the rest of the year, and it’ll be interesting to see how that impacts the team in the short term. Justin Turner has been a wrecking ball for the offense so far this year, leading the team across nearly every offensive category. He leads with six home runs while hitting .337 and has 21 RBI. Turner is the only Dodger hitting over .300, which is shocking considering how elite their offense has been for years. What they lack in batting average they more than make up for in power, with nine players hitting double-digit home runs so far on the season. A doubleheader is a perfect opportunity for them to get the bats going and find some momentum towards the weekend and expect Dave Roberts to juggle the lineup and find the right pieces to put together.
Dustin May will undergo right elbow UCL reconstruction surgery on Tuesday, May 11 in Los Angeles.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 3, 2021
According to MLB.com, Trevor Bauer will get the ball in game two of the doubleheader and should be able to challenge his way towards a potential complete game with the potential to last the entire seven innings. Bauer is one of the most durable pitchers in baseball and can be a workhorse for the Dodgers not just on Tuesday, but for the rest of the year. In his first year in Los Angeles, he’s 3-1 with an exceptional 2.48 ERA and once the offense starts to find their 2020 form, he’ll be a force that’ll be difficult to beat. Bauer is tied with Nola with six games started and a complete game, while also leading the league in innings pitched with 40, all this just a year after winning the Cy Young Award.
Bauer has faced the Cubs three times alone in just a postseason, all in the 2016 World Series, where he pitched 8.1 innings and allowed five runs. Bauer has plenty of experience against the Cubs from his time with the Reds last year, getting two starts against Chicago. He went 1-1 in those two starts, getting through 13 innings and allowing only seven hits and three runs, striking out 15. According to ESPN, the Chicago lineup has 102 at-bats against Bauer with only 16 hits, a measly .121 batting average. Bauer also has 32 strikeouts compared to six walks against the Brewers lineup and will have plenty of confidence and trash talk ready for Tuesday’s start.
Cubs Riding BryantIn what a season that after just a month already appears to be one of the more disappointing ones in recent memory for Cubs’ fans, Kris Bryant has been a lone bright spot in the lineup so far. The power-hitting third baseman leads the team with nine home runs and a .323 batting average, while tied with Javier Baez atop the team’s RBI leaderboard, with 22. Baez is only hitting .245 on the season but has seven home runs and Anthony Rizzo is in a similar boat, hitting only .222 but launching five home runs.
The long ball hasn't been the issue for the Cubs this year, as they have five others with double-digit home runs, but the issue has been getting on base and timely hitting. Many starters, besides Bryant, are struggling just to get on base more than 30 percent of the time, which has to change and change fast if the Cubs want to find a way for their offense to turn things around.
What’s up, Joc? pic.twitter.com/gQ0MgwUjBd— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 3, 2021
It’s still uncertain who the Cubs will throw on Tuesday night in game two of the double-header. The opener will see Kyle Hendricks get the ball, according to MLB.com, while it seems likely that Adbert Alzolay could see the start in the second game, according to FantasyPros. Alzolay is 1-2 on the season so far in four starts, with a 4.71 ERA after only a 2.95 ERA last season in the same amount of innings. Alzolay has never faced the Dodgers and according to ESPN has never faced anyone from the Los Angeles lineup before, meaning a new experience for both teams.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Dodgers may have struggled over the last two weeks for their standard of play, but they are still far and away from a better and more complete team than the Cubs, even with the issues at hand. Not only is Turner one of the better players in baseball right now, but that offense is just lurking and waiting to strike, and a double-header might be the perfect opportunity for that. Add in that the Dodgers will be handing the ball to Bauer, and it’s difficult to imagine a night for the Cubs where they generate much of any offense, or at least not even to compete with how many runs the Dodgers will score. With Alzolay potentially on the mound for Chicago, the LA lineup will be able to exploit him in his first-ever matchup against everyone in the Dodgers’ lineup.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Dodger’s offense has been colder than usual of late and even though they’ll still be able to put some runs and offense together, the x-factor will be Bauer taking the mound. He’s been electric this year on and off the field, and his experience against the Chicago lineup will give him plenty of confidence, and plenty of pains for the Cubs’ offense. Chicago is only hitting .121 against Bauer and it’ll show when they struggle to get anything going on offense. Additionally, according to covers.com, for Chicago, the under is 5-0 in their last five Tuesday games and is 3-0-1 in Alzolay’s last four starts during the second game of a series. In games between the two teams, the under is 18-5 in the last 23 meetings in Chicago.