The Chicago Cubs evaded the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday with a close nail-biting win of 2-1. They shell shocked the Dodgers in the 9th, as Anthony Rizzo connected on a 2-run bomb over the fence to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. Walker Buehler was terrific for the Dodgers, as he was strong through 7 innings of work, allowing just 2 hits and no runs.
Buehler had a no-hitter in play for much of the game, and should have at least gotten out of the day with a win. Kenley Jansen had other ideas, though, as he gave up the winning home run to Rizzo in the 9th. Closing out ballgames is so important and we witnessed it once against at Dodger Stadium yesterday. Losing games when your pitcher allowing just 2 hits is not a pleasant feeling.
Credit Yu Darvish, who was able to return to Los Angeles and put on an impressive show for the Cubs. Rizzo helped Darvish out as well, allowing him to leave LA with a win against his former team. Darvish was booed by those in attendance, but was sharp as ever with only 2 hits and 1-run allowed across 7 innings. Buehler and Darvish both were excellent for their respective clubs on Saturday.
The series turns to Sunday Night Baseball, as the Cubs and Dodgers will conclude the weekend with a watchable Sunday night contest. The Cubs moved into a tie with the Brewers in the NL Central as a result of the victory. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are still sitting pretty at 47-24 in the NL West. They hold a 9.5-game over the Rockies and Diamondbacks, so not much has changed since last week. Ace Hyun-Jin Ryu will get the call in primetime, while the Cubs will counter with Jose Quintana. Head below for our free Cubs vs. Dodgers pick.
Chicago Cubs vs. L.A. Dodgers Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Ryu is having a fantastic year and looking for more with everyone watching in primetime on Sunday evening. In a rotation with several dangerous weapons, Ryu has stood above the rest with some outstanding work in 2019. He is on pace to win the Cy Young in the National League. Not just on pace, but he is cruising to earn top honors in the National League for his effort this year.
Ryu enters Sunday with an ERA of 1.36 with a 0.80 WHIP and .219 OBA. He’s been even more brilliant at home, posting a 1.01 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, and .182 OBA at Dodger Stadium. In 44.2 innings, he allowed only 5 runs in 44.2 innings. There are a lot of pitchers this year who can’t go a game without allowing 5 runs, let alone going 44.2 innings. Ryu has been sharp as well recently, with an ERA of 0.44 and 0.73 WHIP. Just 1-run has been scored on him in his previous 20.2 innings. In five of his last seven showings, Ryu hasn’t allowed a run. And note that the Cubs have struggled against left-handed pitching with a .236 batting average. They have to find a way to tame the best lefty in the game Sunday night.
Conversely, Quintana has allowed at least 3 runs in five of his last seven appearances. He has been solid enough at Wrigley, posting a 2.98 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. However, his effort on the road has been less ideal, as he has gotten exposed with an ERA of 5.13 and 1.53 WHIP. The Dodgers are hitting .292 with a .386 OBP against Quintana in 72 at-bats.
The Cubs are a good team of course, but they are likely to be overmatched against Ryu this evening. After falling silent on Saturday, expect the Dodger offense to find it easier against Quintana in this spot. A 6-3 or 5-2 win favoring the Dodgers looks like an accurate outcome to close out the weekend on Sunday Night Baseball tonight. At even money, the runline on LA looks worth a stab here.