The Chicago Cubs will stay out west after blowing the Rockies out yesterday afternoon in Denver. They made sure they weren’t leaving Denver without at least one win. Cole Hamels put forth a dominant performance and the Cubs’ offense toyed with Antonio Senzatela and the Rockies’ pitching. The Cubs were on the other side of the coin in the previous game, as they gave up 10 runs in a 10-3 loss.
The Cubs needed the win to keep pace with the Brewers after their rivals won in Houston against Justin Verlander. Milwaukee currently hold a small half game lead in the NL Central. It’s a tight race that promises to stay that way for a while. There might be a team who pulls away later in the season, but at the moment, there isn’t any indication that the Cubs or Brewers are that much better than one another.
Chicago point their focus on another formidable opponent beginning Thursday night. The Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers will embark on a four-game series, the second series between the two National League foes in 2019. Their first resulted in two wins for the Cubs and one for the Dodgers. Ross Stripling was able to pitch brilliantly to get the Dodgers a win against Jon Lester.
Lester had his pitches working for him as well, but a late 8th inning run against reliever Randy Rosario was the difference. Since that series in late April, though, the Dodgers have been doing just fine and excelling. The Dodgers enter Thursday with a record of 45-23 and healthy 9.5-game lead in the NL West. The Rockies and Diamondbacks are both tied in 2nd with 9.5-game deficit on their hands. Head below for our free Cubs vs. Dodgers pick.
Chicago Cubs vs. L.A. Dodgers Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Jon Lester put on a show as he neutralized the Dodgers back in April. He will look to do it again on Thursday night. Lester has been on a rocky road since that outing, having some lackluster games recently. He allowed 4 runs to the Cardinals in his most recent start. However, he gave up all of the runs in the 1st inning and he was rolling after shaking off a rough opening frame. Lester held the Cardinals down and didn’t allow a run in the rest of the game and the Cubs were winners by a score of 9-4.
Following his 1-run game against the Dodgers, Lester poured it on with three straight scoreless outings. That’s when trouble popped up for Lester. In his next three games, Lester was belted for 19 runs in 14 innings. He bounced back with an efficient performance against the Angels in his following showing, though. Lester allowed 1-run across 7 innings of work, looking more like the guy the Cubs come to expect. The Dodgers have been adequate against Lester with a .252 batting average in 159 at-bats. He is likely not going to be allowed any faults in this contest with Kershaw spinning the ball for the Dodgers tonight.
While deGrom won the NL Cy Young last season, Kershaw is still the class of consistency in Major League Baseball. He’s been fooling hitters since 2009 and hasn’t let up. When deGrom goes ten straight years with an ERA below 3.00 then we can begin talking about his longevity. Kershaw is currently on the cusp of that mark, as he heads into Thursday with a 3.00 ERA.
However, he’s been at his best recently, with an ERA of 2.25 in 20 innings. The lefty has allowed more than 3 runs just once this year. At home he’s been sharp as well, with a 2.88 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in his previous three contests. I can see Lester and Kershaw turning this matchup into a duel with the final score landing UNDER 8.