How To Bet The National League Championship Game 2: Cubs vs Dodgers

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, October 15, 2017 4:07 PM UTC

Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 4:07 PM UTC

With only one game on the slate our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, does his typical deep dive into the numbers to find where the advantages lie. Read on as he makes his pick for Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

Chicago Cubs vs L.A. Dodgers

LAD leads series 1-0

Yesterday’s MLB pick went down in flames after the Yankees never made it to the Houston bullpen in which they had a matchup advantage. Justin Verlander gave the entire Houston bullpen a night off that will effectively give them three day’s rest coming into their game 3. Something we can’t forget when handicapping that game for Monday night (which I will be doing).

The only game on Sunday is Game 2 of the National League Championship series with the Dodgers taking Game 1 on Friday night, 5-2. This game will feature two lefties, as Jon Lester of the Cubs takes the mound on the road against Rich Hill of the Dodgers. The line has moved significantly towards the home team. After opening at -135 on the moneyline it has shifted as high as -161 at sites such as BookMaker. The total has opened at 7.5 with early movement shading the chalk towards the Over.

Both of these pitchers have been blistering hot over their last 3 games. Starting with the Cubs’ Jon Lester, who has picked up a 1.06 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in his last 3 starts. He’s been consistent all year with no real differences between the first half and second half of his season. What I notice about Lester when doing a deep dive is that he loses control when pitching out of the stretch. With the bases empty, Lester runs a very good 2.31 BB/9 rate. However, when he puts a man on base that climbs to 4.02 and when a runner is in scoring position it goes to 4.79 BB/9. That is a weakness that the Dodgers can take advantage of and they happen to have the highest team walk percentage in the MLB at 10.5% over the season.

Dodgers starter, Rich Hill, was insanely hot over the month of September where he put up a .140 BAA, 40/8 BB/K rate, and allowed a tiny .220 OBP. His K% shot up to 36.4% that month, bringing his second half K% to 32.4% and his second-half K-BB% to an elite 25.7%. Hill also has a positive home split, and his overall negative left handed split disappears at home with a .186 BAA against lefties at Dodger Stadium and a .175 BAA against righties.

With only a slight edge found for Hill in this matchup, I’ll turn to recent offensive trends to take us over the top - and that edge is found with the Dodgers. They are averaging 5.3 runs per game and batting .270 over their last seven, and the Cubs are averaging 2.9 runs per game and batting .161 over the same time span. Facing Hill at home won’t help that trend. I don’t like the chalk, but backing the Dodgers here on the moneyline is my best MLB Pick of the Day.

Free MLB Pick: Dodgers -148Best Line Offered: at Matchbook

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