We took a shot on a big underdog yesterday and came up short. I didn’t think Domingo German, a guy with an ERA north of five runs as a starter, deserved to be a -175 favorite against a team as good as the Seattle Mariners. In the end, German ended up having the best start of his young career, as he pitched seven strong innings of two-run ball, and the Yankees offense, as it almost always does, provided plenty of run support.
The Yankees took the game 7-2, as they were able to get to Mariners starter, Marco Gonzalez, with a four-run fifth inning. This Yankees offense just won’t be denied as they hit four more home runs in this game. This is the best offense in the majors right now, and that is with Didi Gregarious mired in a terrible slump and Giancarlo Stanton hitting just .252. It will be truly scary if the Bronx Bombers can get all their bats swinging at the same time. For today’s game, I will break down the matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in Chicago Wednesday for game three of a three-game set with the Cubs. The series is tied at one game apiece as they split a doubleheader yesterday. This has been a really exciting series as both teams were able to score the go-ahead runs in the ninth inning. In game one, the Dodgers came from behind as they trailed 3-2, to win the game in the ninth, 4-3 on a Kyle Farmer RBI double. Game two saw the Cubs work a little late-game magic of their own as they won in walk-off fashion, 2-1, on an Albert Almora Jr. game-winning RBI single.
Starting today in the rubber match is Ross Stripling (6-1 1.76 ERA), and for the Cubs, it is Jon Lester (8-2 2.28 ERA). This game is basically even money right now as the Cubs are just slight -112 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at seven runs. First pitch is scheduled for 11:20 AM PST from Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Jon Lester has been winning games at a high rate now for well over a decade. The guy has won World Series titles with the Cubs and the Red Sox, and this might be his best season yet. And that is saying a lot for the many time All-Star and former Cy Young Award runner-up. Lester is cruising this season and could win twenty games for the first time in his career. On the season, Lester is 8-2 with a 2.28 ERA in fourteen starts.
What has maybe been more impressive though and definitely more important for Chicago this year, is that the Cubs just win when Lester pitches. The Cubs are 11-3 in games where Lester starts this season. Lester has been nearly unhittable at home this season. In six home starts, Lester is 3-1 with an ERA of 1.49. The Cubs have won all but one of Lester’s home starts this season. And that one loss? He pitched six innings of one-run ball against the Cleveland Indians and was a hard-luck 1-0 loser. Hardly his fault.
The Dodgers will counter with Ross Stripling in game three, looking for the series win. Stripling is enjoying a career year so far for the Dodgers. He started the season working out of the LA bullpen but has been thrust into the starting rotation when the injury bug bit the boys in blue. It doesn’t matter which role he has been in, Stripling has produced stellar results. He is 6-1 on the season and has an ERA of just 1.76. In a remarkable run, Stripling has picked up a win in his last six consecutive starts. The future is bright for this young man, and he is pitching very well at the moment.
It is very hard to bet against a guy as hot as Ross Stripling is right now. The guy is a buzz saw and is winning a lot of games. But I am just not sure if he will be ready to face this powerful Cubs offense today. And even if he does bring his best stuff, I just can’t bet against Jon Lester at home right now. Lester has just been too good, for too long, to not like him in a spot against a second-year guy like Stripling.
Getting the chance to bet on a team as good as the Cubs with a starter as good as Lester on the mound today, at basically even money, is just too much value to pass up on. I expect this game to follow the trend of the rest of this series and be a tight game that comes down to the wire. But in the end, I see the Cubs walking away with the win. Give me the Chicago Cubs at -112 today at home in game three!