Dodgers vs. Cubs Odds, Picks & Predictions: MLB Betting Preview (Friday, April 5)

Dodgers vs. Cubs Odds, Picks & Predictions: MLB Betting Preview (Friday, April 5) article feature image

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Bobby Miller

Dodgers vs. Cubs Odds

Friday, April 5
2:20 p.m. ET
Dodgers Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+100 / -120
Cubs Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+100 / -120
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Betting the Dodgers is going to be extremely tricky this season. After entering the season with a preseason win total of 104.5, tied for the highest mark since at least 1990, Los Angeles is going to be a heavy favorite in nearly every game this season.

The Dodgers are off to a 7-2 start, and the challenge will be figuring out which games to lay the big number, or which games to take a shot on the underdog and fade this juggernaut.

Chicago is also difficult to pinpoint because it seems like half the market believes the Cubs are underrated and the other half thinks they are overrated. After dropping the first two games, Chicago has rattled off four straight wins, with the offense coming to life for 35 runs over the last four games.

Is this a game to jump on the Dodgers or try and step in front of the train? Check out my Dodgers vs. Cubs preview and betting pick below.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have three pitchers currently in the top 10 for NL Cy Young Award odds. The most underrated candidate might be the most exciting in 24-year-old Bobby Miller, who made his MLB debut last season and quickly became must-see TV.

Bright Lights Bobby went 11-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 22 starts last season. His 3.40 xERA is even more impressive. After the Dodgers went out and signed Tyler Glasnow, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani, Miller looks like he is trying to make a statement as the club’s true ace.

In his season debut last week, Miller struck out 11 batters in six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. This kid’s stuff is outstanding. Miller throws a fastball that averages 99 mph, and he touched 100 five times in his last start. He throws a five-pitch mix, using a fastball, sinker, curveball, slider and changeup. All five pitchers are elite.

Speaking of elite, have you seen the Dodgers' lineup? Mookie Betts has started the year hitting .485 with five home runs and 11 RBI. He is the early MVP favorite and with Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman right behind him, this lineup is sure to finish in the top three of most offensive categories.

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Chicago Cubs

If Miller is a new shiny Corvette, Kyle Hendricks is an old Toyota Camry. He’s not going to turn many heads, but Hendricks will get you where you need to be, pitching to a 3.51 ERA in 11 seasons with the Cubs.

Hendricks had a bit of a bounce-back in 2023, posting a 3.75 ERA after two seasons above 4.75. At this point in his career, Hendricks will rarely miss bats. He has one of the lowest strikeout rates in the league but he still has elite command.

Relying on his sinker and changeup combination, Hendricks generates soft contact at an elite level and keeps the ball on the ground. He doesn’t issue free passes and had just a 4.7% walk rate last season. However, in his first start, Hendricks really struggled with his command. He got behind in counts and gave up five runs in fewer than four innings.

Chicago's offense has gotten off to a great start, granted three games against the Rockies' pitching staff will do that. Young stars Christopher Morel and Seiya Suzuki could both be ready for breakout seasons. Each has started the year locked in with OPS marks above .970. Small sample size, but those are the guys you want getting off to hot starts.

Dodgers vs. Cubs

Betting Pick & Prediction

If you have not watched Miller pitch, now is the time to start. I’m not as into Stuff+ as some of my Action Network colleagues, but if you are, Miller ranked fifth in Stuff+ last season. Based on my metric of EyeBalls+, he might have the most electric stuff in baseball right now.

He masterfully mixes his five-pitch arsenal and all of them are elite. He struck out 11 batters in just six innings with his first start of the year. Four punch outs came with his fastball, four from his changeup and three sat down from the slider.

Hendricks really struggled in his first start of the season. The 34-year-old didn’t have the same sharp command we are used to seeing. He allowed a pair of home runs and surrendered five runs on nine hits in just 3 2/3 innings. He managed just a 6.11 K/9 rate last season and pitching to contact is terrifying against the Dodgers.

This Los Angeles lineup has crushed Hendricks in the past. This roster has a career .328 average against Hendricks with a .396 wOBA and .405 xwOBA. The Dodgers smack changeups, which has always been his most reliable pitch.

As with most Dodgers games, the trick is finding the most cost-effective way to back them. Bullpen numbers have been all over the place to start this season, with bullpen ERAs up across the board. While Los Angeles should have an advantage in the later innings, I’d rather just avoid it altogether.

The biggest edge in this game comes with Miller over Hendricks, and I’m looking to back Bright Lights Bobby as much as possible. Back the Dodgers to lead after five innings -0.5.

Pick: Dodgers F5 -0.5 (-109 at BetRivers)

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