The Chicago Cubs will look to take a 2-0 lead in the NLCS as they host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night in a game that can be seen on FS1. The Cubs got a Grand Slam from Miguel Montero in the 8th inning as they took Game 1 on Saturday in Chicago by a score of 8-4. Now the Cubs will turn to Kyle Hendricks while the Dodgers are hoping that three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw is rested enough to give them a quality start on Sunday. Let’s look at the game and MLB predictions.
MLB Playoff Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers -125
Chicago Cubs +115
Probable Pitching Matchup – Kershaw vs. Hendricks
Kershaw went 12-4 this season with a 1.69 ERA. He carried the Dodgers in the NLDS against Washington as he got a win, a no-decision and a save. Now he will be pitching with very little rest in Chicago against the league’s top team. "I'm not going in with any restrictions," Kershaw said. "There's no excuses at this point. We're just going in trying to get a win."
Kershaw had a career-low ERA this season at 1.69 but he didn’t throw enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. Kershaw struck out 172 batters and walked just 11. Kershaw didn’t face the Cubs at all this season but faced them twice in 2015 with a win and a loss. "Familiarity is never great for a pitcher," Kershaw said. "But I faced a lot of those guys a lot, and so I think one year off's probably not going to make too much of a difference for me."
Hendricks was 16-8 this season with a 2.13 ERA. He took a line drive off Angel Pagan of the Giants in Game 2 of the NLDS but X-rays were negative. He has been outstanding at home this season with a 9-2 record and a 1.32 ERA.
The Dodgers are 19-8 in their last 27 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Dodgers are 3-8 in their last 11 road games. The Dodgers are 0-9 in their last 9 League Championship road games. The Dodgers are 60-21 in Kershaw’s last 81 starts. They are 40-19 in Kershaw’s last 59 road starts.
The Cubs are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. the National League West. The Cubs are 46-18 in their last 64 home games. The Cubs are 7-1 in Hendricks' last 8 starts. They are 26-10 in Hendricks' last 36 home starts.
The Over is 4-1-2 in the Dodgers last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Over is 7-2-2 in the Dodgers last 11 road games. The Under is 8-2-1 in Kershaw’s last 11 road starts. The Under is 7-1 in Kershaw’s last 8 starts vs. the Cubs. The Under is 7-1 in the Cubs last 8 home games vs. a left-handed starter. The Under is 42-20-3 in the Cubs last 65 home games. The Under is 5-1-1 in Hendricks' last 7 home starts. The Under is 12-3 in the last 15 meetings in this series.
MLB Playoff Picks
I will take the Cubs and the game under the total.