Cubs vs Dodgers Betting Preview | MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction
Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Steele (left), Noah Syndergaard (right).
- The Cubs travel west to face the Dodgers on Friday, April 14.
- There's plenty of talent on Los Angeles, but our expert is looking at Chicago and feels there's value on the underdog tonight.
- Kenny Ducey previews the game and shares his Cubs vs Dodgers betting pick below.
Cubs vs. Dodgers Odds
+100 / -122
+100 / -122
The Dodgers are off to a so-so start this season at 7-6, which makes this weekend series against the Cubs an important one.
Chicago enters at 6-5, but has played just two games away from home. Will the Cubs find any joy entering L.A. against a Dodgers team hungry for wins?
Let’s dive in and make a Cubs vs. Dodgers bet.
All things considered, it’s been a pretty solid start to the season for the Cubs. Their offense has been palatable with a 101 wRC+ through 11 games, and that’s been combined with excellent pitching to make for a very formidable team. Chicago currently ranks 10th in total staff ERA (4.00) and sixth in xFIP (3.97).
Most of the credit there goes towards the starting rotation, with the Cubs’ bullpen sporting a poor 4.47 ERA. One of those arms that deserves some praise is the man who will take the ball on Friday night — Justin Steele.
The lefty has been phenomenal, allowing just one run across 12 innings in his first two starts. He’s struck out 11 and allowed just seven hits, though he’s walked five.
Walks have been Steele’s only undoing to this point in his career; he’s issued a free pass to 10.2% of batters he’s faced, which is always scary when you’re gearing up to face a team like the Dodgers. Luckily, his career barrel rate is an excellent 4.2% and he’s yet to allow one this year.
All things considered, it appears Steele’s 3.18 ERA last season at the age of 26 was no fluke. He’s picked right back up where he left off.
Speaking of pitching, it’s been weird to see the Dodgers struggle in that area. Their bullpen ERA is nearly at five runs, and as a staff they’re sitting at an ERA of 4.30. Their 4.11 xFIP offers some room for hope, but Friday night’s matchup may not.
We will discuss that below, but for now let’s just focus on the starter for L.A., Noah Syndergaard. Is he ready to become the next Dodgers reclamation project? Well, maybe! So far, though, things haven’t been going well.
Syndergaard’s velocity continues to decline, and as a result, he’s had a .286 batting average against. While he’s only allowed one barrel and has yet to walk anyone, he’s still posted a 6.30 ERA because of the barrage of hits he’s allowed.
While this is reason to be hopeful he can shut down some offenses, particular ones which have poor plate discipline and rely on the long ball, there are plenty of teams that will be giving him fits.
Another major storyline here is the Dodgers offense. While they’re in the top 10 against lefties in terms of wRC+, they’re hitting below the Mendoza Line against southpaws and have the second-worst batting average within the split. What does that mean? Well, they’re walking and hitting homers against lefties. They’re not putting the bat on the ball consistently, though.
Cubs vs. Dodgers Betting Pick
I’ll stop short of saying Steele is in an excellent spot against the Dodgers. L.A. is elite at working walks and Steele is a guy who issues far too many free passes. With that being said, he has been excellent throughout his career at suppressing power and that could put the nail in the coffin for the Dodgers, who are hitting just .189 against lefties this year.
On the other hand, the Cubs hitters have been hit machines, and that should continue even if Dansby Swanson is out of the lineup once again.
I think this is a pretty bad matchup for Syndergaard and a good one for Steele. With that, there’s a lot of value on the underdog.
Pick: Cubs Moneyline (+142)
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