Just when it appeared the defending champs were getting things back on track, there is once again cause for some real concern in Wrigleyville. This time, it isn’t the pitching staff that is the trouble, it is the bats that have gone to sleep. The Cubs have yet to score a run this weekend, an ominous sign for a potential matchup in October, and things get even tougher tonight with Clayton Kershaw on the mound. It is not an enviable position to be trying to score your first run of the weekend and salvage a disastrous series with the greatest pitcher of his era getting the baseball… The Cubs will be countering with Jon Lester, so it is strength on strength this afternoon in a game baseball fans will want to watch even if they don’t wager on the outcome.
Elsewhere, the Reds lost on a walkoff in the bottom the ninth to snap their brief winning streak, Strasburg delivered in a major way as the Nats blanked the Padres 3-0, the Brewers touched up their former mate Zack Greinke in a 6-1 win, and the Pirates John Jaso had a magical night, tying the game in the ninth and then beating the Mets in the tenth.
We grabbed a winner last night with Ty Blach and the Giants. Let’s continue the winning weekend this afternoon.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Chicago Cubs +155 at Los Angeles Dodgers -158 (Total: 6.5)
Jon Lester (3-2, 3.19 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.01 ERA)
Jon Lester isn’t a +155 underdog very often, but given the coldness of the Cubs bats and the superhuman otherworldly dominance of Clayton Kershaw, it seems more than justified. Chicago has yet to score this series, and with all due respect to Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy who have both been fantastic this season, today is Clayton Kershaw.
This matchup is made even more fantastic by the fact these two longtime aces have never faced one another, making this already special matchup easily the most anticipated regular season game on the 2017 season to date.
Can the Cubs snap out of their funk and get to Kershaw? If not, can Lester match zeroes long enough to hope they can scratch out a run or two against the Dodgers bullpen. Don’t forget, that pen is also the best in the National League.
I’m not usually a huge fan of laying large odds on MLB games, given the random nature of the sport and the slim margin, statistically speaking, between “great” and “terrible”, but it is hard to see Kershaw getting lit up today. The Cubs lineup is scuffling, and a day game against Kershaw ain’t the answer.
I’ll eat the large laydown today and roll with the best pitcher in baseball.
Today’s MLB Pick: LOS ANGELES DODGERS TO WIN -158