For today's upset in major MLB once again we have to think about betting value. Today we head to Chicago to find it, when the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Chicago Cubs.
MLB odds makers have come out with the game making the Cubs around the +150 underdog. The best odds I have found is at Pinnacle sports book with the Cubs at +156. This is pretty good plus money value on a decent Cubs team at home even though they're playing one of the better teams in the league right now in the Dodgers.
With the Dodgers as such a big favorite in Chicago of course Clayton Kershaw is on the mound. Don't let that scare you off though he is not been as sharp as he was last season. Look, I like Kershaw as much as the next guy but he does come in with a 3.29 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, really solid numbers but for him kind of pedestrian. Remember this a value play and on occasion this season Kershaw has gotten hit pretty well. In his last two starts he is allowed four runs in 12 innings, and on the road this season he has a 4.27 ERA with batters hitting .240 against him. For the Cubs Tsuyoshi Wada gets the start and he comes in with a 3.68 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. I have been a big fan of his for years while watching him pitch in Japan, he could really keep batters off balance. He is coming off to really solid starts where he allowed three earned runs in his last ten innings pitched, with a shut out his last appearance. As well, at home he has a 3.21 ERA and batters are hitting under .200 against him.
At the plate
While the Dodgers are one of the top ranked offenses in the major leagues the Cubs are more of the middle tiered ranked team. But for the most part these teams are not extremely different offensively, like the Dodgers rank 12th in the league in runs scored per game and the Cubs 14th, the disparity really isn't that different. The Dodgers rank 13th in batting average, the Cubs 20th, the Dodgers ranked 18th in hits per game, the Cubs 17th. The biggest difference is in on base and slugging percentage where the Dodgers rank second in the league and the Cubs only 16th. Probably the most surprising thing is while the Dodgers stats stay the same home or away the Cubs stats actually are a little better on the road than at home. It is still early in the season and I don't think that trend will continue.
At the end of the day this the value MLB pick pure and simple. Going against Kershaw is never an easy thing to do but it +150 with a good pitcher and Wada this a good spot to go ahead and take the underdog. I will back the Cubs today to pull off the upset.
MLB Pick: Cubs at Pinnacle