Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers - 10/19/16 MLB NLCS Game Four Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Chicago Cubs (107-61-1) at Los Angeles Dodgers (96-74)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 8:08 pm (Dodger Stadium)
J Lackey (11-8) (3.42) vs. Julio Urias (6-2) (3.30)
The Line: Los Angeles Dodgers / Chicago Cubs --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers play game four of the NLCS Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium on FS1.
The Chicago Cubs find themselves in trouble after dropping game three and being shutout for the second straight game. A Cubs offense that has been automatic all season long has now gone 18 innings without scoring a run and has racked up just six hits in their last two games. Now, the good news for the Cubs is that they haven’t lost three straight games since early July. Kris Bryant and Javier Baez have combined for 19 hits and seven RBI while Dexter Fowler has five hits in 28 at bats. The Chicago Cubs have shown the ability to bounce back all year long, but this is obviously their biggest obstacle to overcome this season. To get things back on track, John Lackey gets the nod, and he was 11-8 with a 3.35 ERA and 180 strikeouts this season. Lackey is 8-5 with a 3.22 ERA and 103 strikeouts in his postseason career.
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The Los Angeles Dodgers have a chance to really take control of this series heading into game five on Thursday. The Dodgers offense erupted for six runs in game three and seems to have their swagger back that makes them a dangerous lineup from top to bottom. The Dodgers have won 10 of their last 12 games when scoring more than three runs. Justin Turner and Corey Seager have combined for 15 hits and 10 RBI while Adrian Gonzalez has seven hits on 31 at bats. The Los Angeles Dodgers are likely looking at this game as the pivotal moment, as they could hand the ball over to Clayton Kershaw for game five if they win and try to advance to the World Series. For game four, Julio Urias takes the hill, and he was 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA and 84 strikeouts this season. Urias is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and one strikeout in his postseason career.
The Cubs are 4-0 in Lackeys last 4 starts and 4-1 in Lackeys last 5 starts vs. National League West. The Dodgers are 6-1 in Urias' last 7 home starts and 9-2 in Urias' last 11 starts. The Cubs are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings in Los Angeles and the under is 33-15-5 in the last 53 meetings in Los Angeles.
While everybody and their brother continues to back the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers are starting to flex their muscle and are finding ways to win these games. I was on them for game three and I'm riding that train again here. Lackey has an ERA of 4.37 on the road compared to an ERA of 2.62 at home. And despite winning against the Giants, Lackey did allow three runs in four innings of work in that postseason game. Urias may be young, but he's allowed just one run in his last 10.2 innings of work and has produced wins in six of his last seven home games. Also, Urias was much better against the Cubs in his second start against them, allowing one run and six hits in six innings. (Urias was rocked by the Cubs for five earned runs in his second career start) Not to mention the Cubs can't hit all of a sudden.
We've seen this movie before where things don't go well for the Cubs in the postseason. I'm riding the Dodgers until the Cubs prove me wrong.