Dodgers vs. Cubs Free MLB Picks and Odds Analysis

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Chicago Cubs. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs

Wednesday, May 5, 2020 – 7:40 pm EDT Wrigley Field

Probable Pitchers:

● Dodgers: Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.16 ERA)

● Cubs: Adbert Alzolay (1-2, 4.71 ERA)

Stakes of the Matchup

The Los Angeles Dodgers are probably the best team in MLB. They won the 2020 World Series, and they are +350 favorites to win again this season. Currently the Dodgers have a 17-13 record and are in second place in the NL West. The Chicago Cubs are a sharp contrast to the LA Dodgers. The Cubs despite winning the NL Central in 2020 are in fourth place in the division with a 13-16 record. Even though they are four games out of first place after only 29 games have been played, they still have a plausible chance of contending in the division.

While the Dodgers have a slightly better record than the Cubs, their run differential is much better. Currently LA leads the league with a run differential of +45. While the Dodgers have the best run differential, Chicago has a run differential of -14 which is the 6th worst in the league. The Dodgers have one of the best starting rotations in the league and one of the best lineups. The Cubs have a good lineup, and unreliable starting pitcher. The question for Wednesday night’s game is if the Dodgers are worth their heavy price as favorites.

Pitching Matchup

While the Dodgers have a clear edge in hitting against the Cubs, the Cubs have a fighting chance on Wednesday because of their starting pitching. The starting pitcher for the Cubs is rookie Adbert Alzolay. While Alzolay has a 4.71 ERA this season, he also has a 3.52 xFIP which suggests that Alzolay has been unlucky this season. Last season in 21 1/3 innings, Alzolay had a 2.95 ERA, and a 3.62 xFIP.

While Alzolay has shown that he can be a decent starting pitcher, his only flaw is that he typically only pitches for 5 1/3 innings per start. Even though Alzolay has stamina issues, the Cubs bullpen has been decent this season as they have an xFIP of 4.09 which is slightly better than the league average. The only worry for Alzolay and the Cubs bullpen is the Dodgers lineup. Last season Los Angeles scored 5.77 runs per game which was the most in the league. This year LA is averaging 5.1 runs per game which is the third most in the league. The only flaw right now in the Dodgers lineup is that they are playing without former NL MVP OF Cody Bellinger.

Opposing Alzolay is Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler. For the 2021 season, Buehler has gotten off to a strong start as he has a 3.16 ERA, with a 3.33 xFIP. Most impressively Buehler is averaging more than six innings per start. While Buehler is an innings eater, the bullpen will have to handle the rest of the game. Even though the Dodgers are a dominant team, their bullpen is shockingly underwhelming this season as they have a 4.33 xFIP which is slightly higher than the median MLB team.

Prediction

The Dodgers are favored as they should be based on their talent level. They won the World Series last year as favorites, and they have the best chance of winning this year’s World Series out of all thirty teams. The question is if the Dodgers are worth betting on at -170 odds and the answer is no. The Dodgers should lose about 40% of their games this season, and Wednesday’s game could be one of those games. The Cubs lineup is starting to produce as they are averaging 4.61 runs per game which is .28 more runs per game than the average team. With a strong starting pitcher and a decent bullpen, Chicago is a great bet at +157 on BetOnline.

MLB Pick: Chicago Cubs Moneyline +157 BetOnline