MLB Picks: Motivation Key Factor In LA Dodgers vs Cubs Game

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 31, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Let’s look at recent games in this series, both scheduled hurlers, Tuesday night’s Weather Forecast and provide some MLB picks in what honestly looks like a no-win situation for Los Doyers.

The Chicago Cubs have W23 straight starts behind starter Jake Arrieta and the North Siders can set a new MLB record with a win for the ace RHP against the Los Angeles Dodgers and southpaw Scott Kazmir on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field in Game 2 of this 4-game NL series. 


Odds Overview
The Los Angeles Dodgers (27-25) and starting LHP Scott Kazmir (4-3, 4.84 ERA, 40 K’s) face the Chicago Cubs (35-14) and ace RHP Jake Arrieta (9-0, 1.72 ERA, 67 K’s) in this nationally televised Game 2 of this 4-game series on Tuesday night. Offshore oddsmakers have opened up Arrieta and the Cubs as big -224 (Heritage) Home favorites with the game’s Total (Runs) yet to open. In Game 1 on Monday (CHI -139, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), the Cubs sent starter Jason Hammel (6-1) to the mound against the Dodgers and Alex Wood (1-3) and the Cubs RHP went just 2 IP, allowing just one Hit—a Justin Turner single—and then left with Cramping in his Right Hamstring in a 2-0 Chicago win as four Cubs Relievers (Wood-Grimm-Strop-Rondon) threw perfect ball for 7 innings. On Wednesday in Game 3, the Cubs will send LHP Jon Lester to the mound against Dodgers tentative scheduled LHP Mike Bolsinger in another nationally televised game between two of MLB’s more popular teams (ESPN, 8:05 p.m. EDT/5:05 p.m. PDT) with Game 4 set for Thursday afternoon (Maeda-Hendricks, 2:20 p.m. EDT/11:20 a.m. PDT).


Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers (22/1 to win World Series, Ladbrokes) and first-year Manager Dave Roberts headed into this inter-divisional NL series on a nice little roll, having W6 of 7 and outscoring opponents 39-17, starting last Sunday in San Diego with a 17-inning win (9-5) over the Padres in the final game of that series. Los Angeles followed that marathon win with a 3-game sweep of the Reds at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and then took 2 of 3 against the Mets at Citi Field as it began a Road trip this weekend. In Game 1 on Monday against the NL Central-leading Cubs, Dodgers Manager Roberts put out a Starting Lineup of: 2B Chase Utley, SS Corey Seager, 3B Justin Turner, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, CF Joc Pederson, C Yasmani Grandal, RF Yasiel Puig, LF Carl Crawford with LHP Scott Kazmir getting the ball. And as mentioned, the Cubs won 2-0 as Los Angeles (14-13 on Road) could only muster one hit all game—a Single by Justin Turner—and struck out 11 times to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday by whiffing in the name of America’s National Pastime. Going, going, gone. Los Angeles (2/1 to win NL West, BetVictor) fell to 3-7 its L10 games on the Road and 3-15 in its L18 on the Road vs. teams with Winning Percentages .600 and higher. And with Arrieta jumping in the saddle on Tuesday, the Dodgers (12/1 to win NL, Ladbrokes) 6-game Road trip could end with them heading Home with a sub-.500 record (27-28) should they somehow get swept here on the North Side of the Windy City and also lose on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Los Angeles (4-0 L4 Tuesday games) has had a significant number of Injuries it has been dealing with this season including to veteran OF Andre Ethier (Recovering from Back Surgery, 60-day DL), P Brandon McCarthy (Recovering from Tommy John Surgery, 60-day DL), P Hyun-jin Ryu (Recovering from Shoulder Surgery, 60-day DL) and P Brett Anderson (Recovering from Back Surgery, expected back in July).


Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs (7/2 to win World Series, Paddy Power) and Manager Joe Maddon continue to roll right along and after Monday’s win and Shutout in Game 1, this teams has now W6 straight games and is 18-6 at its historic Home heading into Tuesday night. On Monday in Game 1, Maddon put out a Starting Lineup of: RF Ben Zobrist, CF Jason Heyward, 3B Kris Bryant, 1B Anthony Rizzo, LF Jorge Soler, SS Addison Russell, 2B Javier Báez, C David Ross with RHP Jason Hammel pitching. Chicago scratched both its Runs across in the Bottom of the 5th and only managed one extra base hit—a Rizzo double—with Russell (2-for-4) the only Cub and only player in the game to have more than one hit in what were absolutely beautiful conditions (Sunny, 70°) and a packed 41,470 house at Wrigley Field (43-16 L59 at Home). Chicago is 48-14 in its L62 games against a Starter with a WHIP higher than 1.30 (Kazmir, 1.30 WHIP), 16-5 its L21 against a Left-handed Starting Pitcher and 47-19 in its L66 games overall. The Cubs (275 RS-142 RA)—who increased their MLB-leading Run Differential to +133 with the 2-0 shutout and perfect and rare 7-Inning performance from the Bullpen—are without OF and Indiana University product Kyle Schwarber (Left Knee) who has been out for the season with a torn ACL. And we’ll see how serious the Hamstring issue is to Chicago (+175 to win NL, William Hill) starting pitcher Hammel and if he makes his next scheduled Start in the Rotation.


Pitchers Report Card, Umpires
Only the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw has even been as close to being as dominant as the Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta has been over this recent (franchise) record-setting recent run. Arrieta was semi-rocked—for 4 runs—in his last start against the Cardinals in St. Louis but the last time he faced this motley Dodgers mob (Aug. 30, 2015), all he did was throw a No-Hitter so it’s no wonder oddsmakers are being slow in putting up a Total, Run Line and First Five inning MLB Odds for this particular game. For the Dodgers, Adrian Gonzalez is 4-for-16 (.250) with a HR and an RBI against Arrieta (0.90 WHIP) while the red-hot Chase Utley is 0-for-10 against the 30-year-old Arrieta over the L5 seasons. So, small sample size but minimal damage from the Dodgers two big left-handed (and best) sluggers. And Yasiel Puig is 2-for-3 against Arrieta (.667) while Carl Crawford is 3-for-10 (.300), although veteran Crawford has seldom started in the Los Angeles OF this season but was in the starting lineup last night (he went hitless). Kazmir struck out 12 in his last start after walking 7 batters the outing before and the 32-year-old southpaw journeyman has never really faced any of the batters in the Cubs potential lineup with Dexter Fowler 1-for-9 (.111) against him (lefty-Lefty) and Davis Ross 0-for-4 (.000). So you tell me where the Hits come from in this game. Zobrist, Heyward and Bryant should be the Plate appearances to watch for Chicago while obviously the Gonzalez and Utley and maybe the Seager At Bats may matter the most against ace Arrieta—who may never lose a Start again until we’ve colonized Mars and all of the Kardashians are long gone. Hopefully, for the lovable loser Cubs, they will have won a World Series by then.

Trend-wise, the Cubs are a perfect 9-0 in Arrieta’s L9 starts after allowing 2 Runs or less the previous game, 8-0 in Arrieta’s L8 Starts vs. teams from the NL West, 5-0 his L5 Starts with 5 Days of Rest and 11-0 the L11 when an opponent has scored 2 or less Runs the previous game—Los Doyers had nil. Los Angeles is 1-4 in Kazmir’s L4 starts versus teams with a Winning Record and is 1-4 in Kazmir’s L5 starts on 5 Days of Rest, so everything points toward backing Arrieta and the Cubs here. And if you like them, best bet them quickly as most will and this number (Side) could rise 50 cents or more and close around -280 or so by the first pitch on Tuesday night where the Umpire Rotation calls for Jim Wolf behind Home Plate, Adrian Johnson at First Base, Nic Lentz at Second Base with Paul Emmel at Third Base.


Final Wrap-Up and Picks
For our MLB Picks, we must constider The Cubs (1/12 to win NL Central, 888sport) and starter Arrieta have provided one of the most consistent winning approaches in betting in professional sports in the year-and-a-half: Simply backing the Cubs when the TCU product Arrieta (9-0) starts. A bettor hasn’t lost doing so the L23 times the Cubs big (6-4, 245 pounds) RHP has started, and now, at Home in the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field with a Major League Baseball record in sight and coming off a rough start (for him), expect the Farmington, Missouri resident to be extremely sharp here. He is Jake flipping Arrieta after all. The Weather Forecast (The Weather Channel) for Clark and Addison and the north side of Chicago on Tuesday evening calls for Partly Cloudy skies followed by increasing Clouds with Showers developing later and Thunder possible (40% Chance of Rain), a Low of 66°, SE Winds of 5-10 mph, so, maybe some wonderful Weather scenes at Wrigley Field, although most Weather in Chicago, especially by the Lake (Michigan) move in and out quickly. And with Arrieta hurling, it might not matter anyway.

There are contrasting Trends for taking the Over and the Under here, but without an actual (Totals) number—it should be set at or around 6, wind-depending—it’s hard to handicap it but the projected Final Score below tells that tale. Runs should be scarce. The Under is 4-0 in the L4 Chicago games overall, 4-0 the L4 Cubs games on Grass, 4-0 the L4 after a Win, 5-0 the L5 Home games and the Under is 5-0 the L5 when the Cubs play a team with a Winning Record. The Under is also 18-7-1 in the L26 Cubs games after an opponents has scored 2 Runs or less and the Under is also 5-0 in Arrieta’s L5 Starts when he’s had 5 Days of Rest. So all of the data screams the Dodgers will have trouble scoring, will likely score 2 at the most and will be subject to the suspect Kazmir starting along with the Home Site and 9-0 Arrieta and the Cubs shooting for a MLB-record 24th straight victory when he starts. So, nothing big, right?

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Final Score: Cubs 4 Dodgers 1
Free MLB Picks:  Cubs -224 & -1½
Best Line Offered:  at BetOnline
Record: Lst Week: 2-1-1 Season: 14-11-1

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