The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers had two completely different weekends. Since the Cubs took two of three last Tuesday and Wednesday, the Cubs went on to drop four straight to the lowly Cincinnati Reds. In those four games, the Cubs were outscored 31 to 13 by a team that came into the series as the worst team in the National League. The Dodgers, on the other hand, had a really good weekend sweeping the New York Mets. In Sunday’s 8-7 win, the Dodgers hit 7 home runs. Now, the two will meet again in Los Angeles as the Cubs (42-33) travel to Dodger Stadium to take on the Dodgers (41-35). In the matchup, the Cubs will send Duane Underwood Jr. out to make his major league debut against Kenta Maeda (4-4, 3.84 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 pm ET.
The moneyline for the game is set at the Chicago Cubs +126 and the Los Angeles Dodgers -136. The over/under on runs scored is set at 7.5.
Cubs Looking To Forgot Horrid Weekend
After winning the series against the Dodgers last week, many thought the Cubs would start getting on a roll as they visited the Reds. The problem is that no one told that to the Reds. The Cubs bats went quiet and their pitching struggled, so much so that they even allowed two Reds’ pitchers to hit home runs in the series. They will look to put this weekend in the rear view mirror, but will have their hands full against a Dodgers team that has continued to turn it around after a dreadful start to the season.
To reverse their fortunes, the Cubs will be sending Duane Underwood Jr. to the hill. As previously mentioned, the 2012 second round pick will be making his season debut. In Triple-A this year, Underwood has gone 3-7 with a 4.27 ERA.
Offensively, there are two Cubs players that have been standing out for two very different reasons. Jason Heyward, after a couple seasons where he has struggled with the bat, has really been hitting well, particularly over the last month. In the last 30 days, Heyward is hitting .337/.374/.505 with a .879 OPS. In that time he has 2 home runs, 14 runs batted in and has 9 doubles. On the flip side, there has just been something off with Kris Bryant lately. The All-Star third baseman has been hitting .248/.319/.347 over the last 30 days with a .665 OPS. In that time he has only 1 home run, 10 runs batted in and a whopping 34 strikeouts in 101 at bats. The Cubs will need Bryant to bounce back if they hope to have consistent success.
Dodgers Starting To Look Like NL Champions Of Last Year
The Dodgers have been one of the hottest teams in baseball over the last several weeks. In fact, in their last 15 games they are 11-4. Part of the reason, they have been getting MVP-like play from Matt Kemp. After being acquired in the offseason, many thought that Kemp’s days with the Dodgers would probably be limited. At this point, the Dodgers are pretty happy they kept him around. On the season, Kemp is hitting .318/.353/.551 with a .904 OPS. He has 13 home runs, 47 runs batted in, and has scored 34 runs. Between Kemp’s early success, Bellinger finding his power stroke again, and the return of Justin Turner, the NL West should probably look out.
Defensively, the Dodgers will send Kenta Maeda to the mound on Monday. Maeda is 4-4 with a 3.84 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and is allowing opponents to hit .250 against him. In 61 innings, he has struck out 71 and walked 26. He will need to improve over his last start, though. Despite his team winning, Maeda took a no decision against the Cubs going 3.2 innings and allowing 3 runs.
Dodgers Open The Series With A Win
I don’t particularly love either of the pitchers in this matchup. With that in mind, I have to go with the team that has been playing the better ball and that is, without a doubt, the Dodgers. Coming off of their 7 home run performance on Sunday, their offense has been rolling, and I think it will continue to roll against the rookie, Underwood. Take the Dodgers -136.