2016 MLB NLCS Game 1 Betting Preview - Los Angeles Dodgers vs Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs Players Salute

Saturday, October 15, 2016 5:51 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Dodgers put everything they had into their NLDS Series with the Washington Nationals. No time for rest as L.A. now visits Jon Lester and the Cubs at Wrigley Field on game 1 of the NLCS. Here's our MLB pick in this game.

 

According to 5Dimes Sportsbook, the Cubbies are the heavy chalk as a -195 betting favorite with the total listed at 7.5 runs. While Dodgers starter, Kenta Maeda has had a good season, Cubs starter, Jon Lester, has nearly been unhittable and the best pitcher on the Chicago Cubs pitching staff.

 

A Storybook Season

It has been a storybook season for the Chicago Cubs who were dominant in the regular season with 103 wins and then took care of business against the pesky San Francisco Giants. The Cubs reached the NLCS last season, but were abruptly swept by the New York Mets and Daniel Murphy. Murphy and has team have been eliminated in the NLDS. The only thing standing from the Chicago Cubs getting to the World Series and attempting to break a drought of over a century without a World Series title is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Starting pitching is key in a series such as a team can be better than their opponent, but if the opposition has a stud like Clayton Kershaw taking the mound, things can become interesting. The Dodgers have used Kershaw as much as they can and in game 1, the Cubs won't have to worry about Kershaw as they send out their best pitcher in Jon Lester. 

In the regular season, Lester went 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA and in the playoffs, Lester pitched 8 innings of shutout ball against the San Francisco Giants en route to a 1-0 win. The Cubs are very deep where starting pitcher is concerned and they must not "let their foot off of the gas" as this is a home game and with their best pitcher.

Since July 29th, Lester had started 12 games and had not allowed more than 2 runs in 11 of 12 of those starts. In the month of September, Lester pitched a total of 37 2/3 innings and allowed a mere 2 runs. That's dominance and I expect Jon Lester to pitch well as he has a powerful offense to support him as the Cubs look to go up 1-0 in this series.

 

Kris Bryant 

The Dodgers come into this series with a ton of momentum, thanks to the hitting of Justin Turner and Joc Pedersen from game 5 against the Nats. There are many hitters in the Los Angeles Dodgers starting lineup that are major threats, but there's no threat greater in this game bigger than 2nd year player, Kris Bryant.

Bryant was hyped up so much when he came into the majors last season and this year is the odds on favorite to win the NL MVP along with the Cubs having a great chance at winning it all. Bryant is a 5-tool player and along with Anthony Rizzo, this duo forms one of the most potent 1-2 punches in the game.

Along with hitting 39 HR, 102 RBI, and a .292 BA in the regular season, Bryant has also played well in the playoff as he leads the Cubs in total bases with 11. Bryant is hitting .375 with 1 HR and 3 RBI's in 4 games in the playoffs. While any Cubs player is capable of leading this team to victory, Kris Bryant is certainly the biggest threat on this team in regards to facing the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs have won all season long with a combination of elite pitching and great hitting and for my MLB NLCS pick, I expect the same thing in game 1 as they get off to a fast start.

Remember to drop by SBR's list of the best-ranked bonuses, and find out which of the top sportsbooks is offering the top rated sportsbooks.

 

Free MLB Pick: Chicago Cubs -195 

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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