MLB Betting: NLCS Game Chicago Cubs vs L.A. Dodgers

Chicago Cubs fans supporting the team

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 3:49 PM GMT

Los Angeles pitchers have silenced Chicago hitters two straight NLCS games, but that isn't scaring our handicapper off from making his free MLB pick on the Cubbies.

 

Season: 45-45 (+2.60) Postseason: 2-5 (-3.10)

Where, oh where has the offense gone for the Chicago Cubs? After finishing second in the National League in scoring this season, the Cubs have suddenly been blanked two games in a row by Los Angeles, leaving the Dodgers up 2-1 in the NLCS.

Chicago's power outage has apparently baffled the sportsbooks so much, they're at a loss for putting up lines in Game 4, slated for an 8:08 PM (ET) first pitch in LA. Rookie Julio Urias will deliver the pitch for the Dodgers, Cubs veteran John Lackey opposing him, and bettors need to keep their eyes on SBR's live MLB odds to catch the numbers when they're released later this morning.

 


Dodgers Seeing Lackey For 1st Time in '16

Experience is definitely on Lackey's side, Wednesday's trip to the hill his 22nd career postseason start and seventh in an LCS. The big Texan will be hoping for better results than his effort in the NLDS vs. the Giants, Lackey only lasting four and giving up three runs through the Cubs took him off the hook with a 4-run rally in the ninth to grab a clinching 6-5 win in Game for of that series.

He didn't pitch here in LA when the Cubs visited back in late-August, and Lackey only has appeared here once since 2009. Dating back to his days with the Angels and pitching at Chavez Ravine during interleague Freeway Series contests, he's made five starts plus one relief showing and pitching to a 2.57 ERA (35 IP).

Urias, on the other hand literally and figuratively, is making his first playoff start and just the 16th of his rookie season. He will be seeing the Cubs for a third time, starting against them once in Chicago (lost, 5 IP, 5 ER) and once in LA (win, 6 IP, 1 ER). Cubs hitters batted over .350 against him in the two games, popping three homers along the way.

 


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

When I first saw the crew MLB gave chief Gary Cederstrom for this year's NLCS, only one name stood out: Angel Hernandez. And when I saw where the 26-year veteran was positioned for Saturday's series opener (third base), I knew that even a sweep by either team couldn't keep us from having to endure at least one game with one of the worst umps in the majors behind the plate. Neither side of totals trended in games Hernandez called balls and strikes (12-15-3 O/U/P), though four of his last five games did cash 'under' tickets. What really stands out on his 2016 ledger is how well favorites did, winning 22 of 30 games including all eight as road chalk.

Hey, it's Los Angeles where the weather is rarely an issue. It is going to be hot the next couple of days in LA, however, Wednesday's high reaching the low-90s so expect it to still be in the mid-80s at the game time.

I'm expecting the money lines to be similar to Tuesday's tilt that closed with LA a slight favorite, only this time with Lackey and the Cubs in that role. Chicago's offense is just too good to keep at bay much longer, and Lackey's playoff experience leads me to make my baseball pick on the visitors.

 

Free MLB Pick: Cubs -102

Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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