The Cubs took a one game to none series lead last night behind eight runs from the offense and enough pitching to hold Los Angeles in check. Chicago continues to roll and now figures as an underdog – and a pretty good sized one – against Clayton Kershaw. Game two will stay at Wrigley in a spot where the Cubs can get a stranglehold on the series with a win. If it’s Cubs money Las Vegas wants, I’m happy to recommend making a small contribution.
Injuries have forced their hand a bit, but the Dodgers are certainly being at least borderline reckless with their prized young man. Kershaw still has another season to put one more Cy Young in his trophy case before he turns 30 and LA has come out in these playoffs like he’s announced that this is his last go-around. He started games one and game four and made a surprise relief appearance in game five of the NLDS, which just ended last Thursday. Now he’s back to start game two of the Championship Series. His playoff track record has been short of what everyone wants it to be and part of the reason why has been the way the Dodgers have used him throughout his career – asking more of him than any other team asks of any of its pitchers. But here we are again. Can we really price him as a solid favorite on the road, against the best team in baseball, with the Major League’s ERA champion opposing him? Not if you ask me.
Kyle Hendricks wasn’t great in the DS against the Giants. But the Ivy League man put it all together to finish with, by far, the best ERA in all of baseball (2.13), making a name for himself despite all that star power in the Cubs’ starting five. But a startlingly high number of fans tuning in for this one won’t have even heard of the Cubs starter. Beating Kershaw to put his team in the driver’s seat could do a long way to changing that.
YTD: 36-24-1 +5.75
2015: 31-25-5 +1.09
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02