Spring Training Picks Record: 4-4 (- $15)
Cubs at Dodgers (4 pm ET)
The Cubbies, 7-11 in Cactus League play, head over to Glendale to play the 6-8 Dodgers. Let's llok at how these two teams match-up and at the MLB odds for their exhibition.
Chicago got shut out Wednesday by Colorado 2-0, its eighth loss in its last 11 exhibition games. It was also the fifth time in their last seven games the Cubs got held to three runs or less.
The Cubs had been playing without SS Sterling Castro, who's missed time with a tweaked hamstring. Wisely, Chicago was holding Castro out of action even though he might have been playing with the same injury if this were the regular season. Castro returned to action Wednesday with a single and a walk.
LA lost to Cincy Tuesday 6-2, and has been held to just four runs total over its last two games. But just before that the Dodgers had scored 20 runs in three games, so they've been running a bit hot & cold.
A pair of lefties are expected to start on the mound Thursday, Chris Capuano for LA against Chris Rushin for Chicago.
Cappy has given up seven runs and four home runs in five innings this spring. Hopefully, though, that's just an aberration.
Rushin, meanwhile, has given up just one run in eight innings this spring, with zero walks. He'll probably go three innings or so Thursday, then turns things over to what was the fourth-worst bullpen in baseball last year.
We don't usually like to give a price on Spring Training games, and Capuano has been shaky so far. But we have much more faith in LA's bullpen than in Chicago's.
Free Pick: Take the Dodgers at the -135 offered at 5Dimes for this MLB pick.
White Sox at Angels (4 pm ET)
The Southsiders, 8-6 this spring, head to Tempe to play the 3-11 Angels.
Chicago lost to Cleveland Wednesday 5-2, and scored only three runs vs. Colorado Monday. But for the most part Sox bats have been doing a good job this spring; Chicago has scored at least six runs nine times already.
LA, meanwhile, lost to San Diego Wednesday 8-6, and hasn't won a game since last Thursday. But other than getting shut out in a scoreless tie with Cleveland Monday, the Angels have scored six, 12, six, 11 and six runs in five of their last six games.
Problem is, LA pitching has allowed 40 runs over its last six games.
John Danks, who's given up four ER and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings this spring, is scheduled to start for Chicago Thursday against Jason Vargas for the Angels, who's been nicked for four ER and eight hits in five innings this spring.
On a personnel note Angels slugger Albert Pujols, coming off knee surgery, has seen limited action this spring, and is listed as doubtful at some sources for Thursday's game.
Both these teams are about in the same boat this spring, just trying to get to April with a healthy roster. Both teams have also been scoring runs. But in a game that might very well go either way we like the underdog price on Chicago.