2016 NLCS Game 5 – Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers – Free Betting Preview and Prediction
While the Bears head to Lambeau on Thursday Night to take on the Packers, the Cubs take on the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series in Los Angeles. The series will go at least two more games. Both of those games will be played at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
The Dodgers will turn to Kenta Maeda to start Game 5 of the NLDS. They will hold off on using ace Clayton Kershaw for a Game 6 this Saturday at Wrigley Field.
Right-hander Maeda is a 28-year-old rookie from Japan who had a strong season in his first year. He finished the year with a 3.48 ERA over 175 innings.
However, he did not have a strong start in his first postseason appearance. Maeda received a no-decision in Game 1 on the NLCS after allowing three runs on four hits in four innings while walking three and striking out two. In The NLDS against the Nationals, he allowed four runs on five hits in just three innings in Game 3.
Southpaw Jon Lester, who didn’t factor into the decision in Game 1 against L.A. will pitch for the Cubs in Game 5. He allowed just a single run on four hits, a walk, and three strikeouts. Chicago won Game 1 by a score of 8-4.
Lester has been fantastic in his second season with the Cubbies. He finished the regular season 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA in 32 starts this season.
The odds opened with the Cubs as -155 favorites and the Cubs at +145 as the underdogs. That has moved to Chicago -151 and Dodgers +141, which are the current odds at BetOnline.ag. The total opened at seven runs and hasn’t moved off that. Current odds are Over 7 (-111) and Under 7 (-109) at BetOnline.
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I think Maeda will pitch well in this spot despite his struggles earlier in the postseason. He’s been incredibly consistent over the course of the season and should step up tonight against a Cubs team that doesn’t quite look the same as the team that won over 100 games in the regular season.
The tough part is Lester for the Dodgers. While he was pulled after just 77 pitches in his first outing, lefties have given L.A. trouble this season. I think the Dodgers edge this one out and head back to Chicago with a lead in the series, but that’s not my favorite play in the game.
That would be the under. After last game’s offensive explosion, bettors are expecting Chicago’s bats to have no issue walloping Maeda. I don’t see it that way. Both teams in this one should struggle generating offense. It’s not a high total, but it’s incredibly easy to see this one ending with a score line of 3-2 or 4-2.
Pick: Under 7