Dodgers vs Cubs Odds, Pick for Friday | MLB Prediction Today, April 21
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Dansby Swanson.
- The Chicago Cubs host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a Friday afternoon MLB matchup at Wrigley Field.
- Drew Smyly is set to take the mound for Chicago, while left-hander Julio Urias will go for Los Angeles.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.
Dodgers vs. Cubs Odds
-100 / -122
-100 / -122
Off to an impressive start, the Chicago Cubs are in second place in the National League Central. They will duke it out against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a day game at Wrigley Field on Friday. The Dodgers have had a tough start to the year and are dealing with a number of injuries.
The starting pitcher battle features Drew Smyly for the Cubs and Julio Urías for the Dodgers. Urías looks like a full-blown ace and has for some time. Smyly had a tough start to the season against the Cincinnati Reds, but he has since stabilized and hopes to keep it going (and also stay healthy).
Given the flexibility of the Cubs bullpen and the injuries to the Dodgers lineup, betting the Cubs on the moneyline is the right call here. I explain in detail below in my Dodgers vs. Cubs game preview.
The Dodgers will probably figure it out sooner or later, and Urías pitching every fifth day will definitely help those aspirations.
Urías ranks in the 72nd percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 76th percentile in Hard Hit Rate. The rest of his peripherals are encouraging, too, including a walk rate of 3.3% and a strikeout rate of 28.3% — both improvements from his 2022 season. He pitched six innings in each of his first three starts and went 5 2/3 innings in his last start on Sunday, so he has been pretty consistent on that front. He’s allowed no more than two earned runs in any of his outings.
The Dodgers lineup will be short-handed again. Mookie Betts should return from paternity leave for this series, but Miguel Rojas is on the injured list and Will Smith is still in concussion protocol (as of Thursday). Chris Taylor is also day to day with an oblique injury.
Overall, the Dodgers offense has performed well with a southpaw on the bump, putting forth a 110 wRC+ and a 13.2% walk rate. However, this leaves five hitters above a .340 xwOBA. That said, all five are above .390, so they are as solid as they come against lefties.
In relief, the Dodgers have been subpar. They have a team xFIP of 4.46. No reliever has been lights out, but they have a few options who have an xFIP under 4.00. Either way, the Cubs should have the edge here.
Smyly obviously isn’t in the same class as Urías, but he could match him in a one-game outing.
He ranks in the 93rd percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 86th percentile in Hard Hit Rate. This is mainly because he utilizes his curveball on 44.4% of pitches.
Though he has a high ERA (4.70), that doesn’t tell the entire story. His xERA is 3.20, and his ERA ballooned in his first game against Cincinnati. In his other two starts, he has allowed six hits and two earned runs over 10 2/3 innings.
Hitting wise, the Cubs should have the edge with a healthy lineup. They have seven hitters eclipsing a .350 xwOBA, so this lineup can hit lefties, which could give Urías a little trouble. They only have a 7.9% walk rate against southpaws, so don’t expect many free passes. Their team 125 wRC+ is impressive — that may regress a bit eventually, but riding their hot bats is a strong bet.
Finally, the Cubs bullpen has been stellar and a key ingredient to their early season success. They have 3.33 xFIP with a 30.2% strikeout rate.
Dodgers vs. Cubs Betting Pick
The Cubs have the better lineup and bullpen. Smyly should be able to match Urías, at least with how deep he can go in this game.
Since the Dodgers are missing key players, the Cubs on the moneyline is the correct bet.
Pick: Cubs ML +138 | Play to +115
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