When the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs meet on Wednesday at Wrigley Field in the third game of a four-game series, this handicapper considers the run total odds to offer the best value.
The Dodgers still lead the San Francisco Giants by a game in the National League West, and the Cubs trail the St. Louis Cardinals by a little more than six games in the National League Central. However, the Cubs had the slightly better record, by half a game, entering Tuesday night's MLB betting contest between the teams.
The Cubs entered Tuesday on a three-game winning streak, and what's more is that their third win in that stretch came against the Dodgers on Monday night in game one of this series. The Cubs also beat Clayton Kershaw, last year's National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner. Kris Bryant, the man who was hyped to the heavens, slammed two home runs against Kershaw. Not only winning, but winning against a quality team and an elite pitcher, should give the Cubs a lot of confidence for this game.
The Dodgers clearly don't have as much momentum as the Cubs do, but they're not in a position to be too concerned about where they are. They're still in first place, and this is without Kershaw being anywhere close to his best. The Dodgers have had a real problem with the San Francisco Giants, going 3-9 against them. Against everyone else, though, they're 36-23, so that's worth keeping in mind when placing your MLB picks.
With Mike Bolsinger on the mound, the Dodgers should feel comfortable in this game. Bolsinger has been an excellent new addition to the pitching staff in 2015. He has a very strong 2.87 ERA and a decent 1.20 WHIP, not bad numbers for a guy just getting his feet wet in the majors -- he hasn't even made his 20th career start yet. He's just getting going in his second major league season. He spent 2014 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Bolsinger is going through what every pitcher goes through as other teams face him more and get to know him better: Every at-bat becomes more of a struggle. Bolsinger's first four starts this season were almost spotless -- he gave up a total of two runs in those four starts. In his last five starts, he hasn't been terrible, but he has found it tougher to get guys out. Bolsinger gave up four runs on June 3 at Colorado (a notorious hitter's park), and he gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Dodgers' nemesis, the Giants, on June 19. One issue Bolsinger has to solve is his control: He's walked at least three batters in four of his last five starts. That can't continue at Wrigley Field. He'll give up a three-run homer at some point.
The Cubs will go with Kyle Hendricks, whose whip is 1.24 because he doesn't issue that many walks. However, he can get hit hard, as was the case in his most recent start on June 19. The Minnesota Twins raked him for seven runs on 11 hits in five innings. Hendricks has given up 15 runs in his last 21 innings, which is very discouraging. His ERA is at 4.28, and it feels as though Hendricks is fortunate the ERA is that low.
What’s The Pick?
The over feels like the best MLB bet here. Wrigley Field in summertime punishes shaky pitchers, and both guys, Bolsinger and Hendricks, are going through tough times right now. The Dodgers need to get Adrian Gonzalez going, but after a rout of San Francisco on Sunday, the Dodgers' bats should be better in this game. Expect a lot of runs.
MLB Pick: Over at Bovada