The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs meet in the first of a condensed three-game set that features a doubleheader on Tuesday after the series opener was rained out Monday.
It has been a strange season for the defending champion Dodgers, who started on fire but have since fallen back to earth.
There hasn’t been much to get excited about for Cubs fans, but beating the Dodgers would go a long way to restoring confidence levels.
Los Angeles is favored to win with online betting markets after scoring an emphatic win over Milwaukee on Sunday and with Clayton Kershaw tipped to start Game 1.
Dodgers Needing Consistency
It looked like the Los Angeles Dodgers were going to run away with the National League West after starting 13-2, but wins have been tough to come by recently.
They have won just four games since, which includes two spans of losing three consecutive games. It was almost an four-game sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers, but a 16-4 win on Sunday was enough to stop the bleeding.
The breakout win could spark the Dodgers back into life and that could be bad news for the Cubbies.
“In baseball, there’s ebbs and flows. And today, we broke out big time,” manager Dave Roberts told MLB.com. “I wish we could have spread those runs out across the last three days or week, but that’s not the way baseball’s played. But today, a lot of good stuff.
“The thing about our club, when we’re really good, is the length. Today, the bottom half really picked us up. That’s just really important for any really good lineup and that’s kind of a marker for our club.”
Most of the money with MLB betting lines has come for the Dodgers, so bettors are expecting two wins on the bounce Tuesday.
Cubs Searching for Answers
Sitting at the bottom of the NL Central isn’t where the Cubs envisioned themselves after 28 games.
Chicago hasn’t been able to find a rhythm and with a chance to beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 in the series, it lost 13-12 in extra innings. It was another painful loss for the Cubs, who have scored back-to-back wins only a few times.
They have now lost seven of the last nine and they were held to zero runs in three of those. It’s not a good look for a talented Cubs roster, but the bats broke out on Sunday.
If you take away all the losses, the Chicago #Cubs are actually 10-0.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) April 27, 2021
Chicago scored 12 runs on the back of three RBIs apiece for Ian Happ and Kris Bryant. However, it still wasn’t able to win and that’s a real concern.
Trying to limit the Dodgers’ offense is Kyle Hendricks, who hasn’t started as well as he had hoped. Hendricks is 1-3 with an ERA of 7.54 and 1.76 WHIP. He has allowed an incredible 10 home runs and eight walks, so he hasn’t been his usual self.
“It’s obviously a low point,” Hendricks said. “I’m just searching right now. Not right. I’m trying different things out there.”
Hendricks holds the key for Chicago, but if he’s searching for answers, this team has little chance of winning against Los Angeles.
Kershaw Takes the Mound
Walker Buehler was expected to start on Monday, but his start has been pushed back and Kershaw is now on the mound for Game 1 on Tuesday. Trevor Bauer goes in the nightcap for Los Angeles.
It’s another positive for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who enjoy playing with their ace on the mound. Kershaw is 4-2 with an ERA of 2.09 and he continues to pitch extremely well.
He has pitched 38.2 innings for 30 hits and 39 strikeouts. Allowing only three home runs is a key to success for Kershaw, who can give up the long ball early.
Dodgers vs Cubs Betting Trends
Bettors haven’t had much joy betting on the Dodgers or Cubs. If you placed $100 on the Dodgers, you would be down $398. The Cubs are -$451, so it has been hard work for loyal followers.
Winning hasn’t come easily for Los Angeles in Chicago. It’s 1-4 in the last five meetings in the Windy City, but 4-1 in the last four meetings against the Cubs.
The under is 18-5 in the last 23 meetings in Chicago, but it often depends on which way the wind is blowing.
Dodgers vs Cubs Game 1 Pick
The game comes down to the starting pitcher for us and Los Angeles has a sizable advantage with Kershaw.
Hendricks is low on confidence and although he’ll likely improve as the season continues, getting hits off Kershaw hasn’t been easy.
The Dodgers’ breakout performance against Milwaukee should give them confidence, and once this team gets hot, they can be tough to slow down.
There isn’t much value in the -180 moneyline odds, so we’re comfortable taking the -1½ at the better odds in the opener of the doubleheader.