Cubs at Dodgers Predictions - NLCS Game 2
Cubs Inconsistent Offense Will Cause Problems
Game 2 of the NLCS gets underway Saturday night, and the Cubs already know they're in trouble. After a great start on Friday, which gave them a 2-0 lead, their offense failed them again, leading to Clayton Kershaw stealing the show, but not without letting the bullpen shine too. Unless they can pick is up offensively, this could be a long series for them... or make that a short one.
We went with the easy Dodgers win for our NL pick yesterday, which was a winner. Our Yankees RL play also cashed, going exactly as expected. That brings our record to 14-4 this postseason. So you should definitely start tailing if you aren't by now.
This game had the Dodgers open as moderate favorites. A bit of money has come in on them, but not a lot of line movement to speak of.
Let's get this out of the way first. Rich Hill will not be perfect in this one. Look for him to get hit early, but his offense will bail him out in the end. They are clicking and a much more rested team.
The main factor for this game will be Lester. While the Cubs' starter might not stay in as long because of his short rest, the Cubs bullpen will give it up if Lester doesn't.
Expect another early Cubs lead, but a Dodgers' rally, and while this isn't an official prediction, unless we see a glimmer of something from the visitors tonight, look for the defending champions to be swept by the Dodgers.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-150) at Sports Interaction
Cubs vs Dodgers NLCS Game 2
The Chicago Cubs know this feeling. They were down a game in last year's NLCS against the Dodgers, and they came back to take the series and eventually the whole pie. To get there though, they'll need to work on that offense. Hard.
After Albert Almora Jr.'s two run homer in the 4th inning, the team failed to get a hit the rest of the game. The Cubs' four hits is the third time in just six games where they've had under five hits.
Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA), like his team is no stranger to this spot. He was at the helm for two of Chicago's four wins against the Dodgers in the 2016 NLCS, where he went 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA. His career numbers against the NL West champs aren't as encouraging though, having gone 2-3 with a 3.89 ERA in seven regular season starts against them.
Lester's postseason experience and numbers are great though. The lefty leads among active players for playoff innings pitched, with 143.1, and his record is 9-7 with a 2.57 ERA in 24 apperances, 20 of which were starts. His downfall might be coming into this on just three days' rest. The 33-year-old had 51 pitches on Wednesday in the NLDS against the Nationals.
After their sweep of the Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers seemed to dust off that rust almost immediately, and are looking for another sweep here against the defending champions. Unlike their opponents, the Dodgers aren't inflicted with any offensive struggles.
Corey Seager's replacement, Charlie Culberson, was effective, hitting a double and driving in a run with a sac fly in Game 1 on Friday. And let's not forget Yasiel Puig's bomb.
Their pitching was on point too, with Kershaw dealing his best, well near best, and the bullpen did a fantastic job closing it out. Kenley Jansen, put in a four out save situation, struck out all four batters he faced. Earning his 11th postseason save, Jansen is now tied for fourth in MLB history.
Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32 ERA) is eager to perform how he did last postseason against the Cubs, his former team, throwing six innings of shutout ball. The 37-year-old has only faced them once in the regular season, in a relief appearance.
Hill isn't known for his postseason magic though, as he's only 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in five playoff starts. The lefty's last game was agaisnt the D-Backs in the NLDS, where he allowed two runs in four innings in a no-decision. Anything's possible, but the veteran is amped to show his stuff and repeat last year's performance.
Do you agree with our pick? Or will Lester hold it down on the road? Let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to share and follow us for more MLB postseason picks!
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