Brandon A. Quick | Sat 14/10/2017 - 05:38 EDT

Los Angeles vs Chicago: NLCS Championship Series Predictions

Los Angeles vs Chicago: NLCS Championship Series Predictions

Series Odds - Cubs (+155) @ Dodgers (-190)

Strip away the pomp and ceremony and we have one well-rested squad (Dodgers) taking on a well-battled squad (Cubs).  The Dodgers made quick work of the Dbacks, winning the divisional series in three games, and haven't seen action since October 9. But baseball is a game where rhythm and routine are paramount, so will LA benefit from the rest, or show signs of rust? 

Meanwhile, the Cubbies are fresh off a knock-down, drag-out series with the Nationals that forced overnight travel for Game 5 and taxed the pitching staff to its limits.

Will Chicago benefit from the recency, or will they show signs of fatigue?

It shouldn't take long to get a read on these teams early in the series. In Game 1, The Dodgers will roll with lefty ace Clayton Kershaw, who has been the best pitcher in the game everywhere except for the playoffs. The Cubs will likely counter with their number 5 starter John Lackey after Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana were all effectively burned in the Washington series. 

My Team's Next MatchChicago Cubs

The Cubs were fortunate to survive the Washington Nationals in Game 5 as an unlikely chain of events unfolded in D.C. including a fifth inning where a routine fly ball and dropped third strike both led to runs. The Dodgers have had their share of postseason woes in the last few years and are overdue to advance to the World Series.

While I think the Cubs pick up a win or two in this series, the deck looks stacked in LA's favor. I say Dodgers in six. At -190, there's nothing exciting about picking the favorite in this spot, but these odds aren't exactly prohibitive either. I look for a number of these games to go over the posted total, including the game one over/under of 8.

TAKE Los Angeles to win the series (-190)

Here are some other keys to this series.

1 versus 5

It's hard to see any benefit for Chicago in starting a series on the road with a number 5 starter opposing arguably the best pitcher in baseball. If there's any silver lining for the Cubs, however, it's that Kershaw has yet to be effective in the playoffs over the course of his otherwise brilliant career. The Dodgers star lefty faltered against the Cubs in last year's NLCS and surrendered three home runs in his lone playoff start this year. Clearly, the playoffs are in Kershaw's head, so he could be pressing with the bright lights on him once again.

Staying Afloat

If the Cubs can avoid being swept in the first three games in LA, then they will have a solid chance to even the series in Chicago as the pitching staff returns to full strength. To do this, the Cubs will have to get quality innings from Lackey in Game 1 even if the result is a losing one. They simply cannot dig further into their bullpen or entertain the idea of a starter eating up innings. 

Offensive Production

Of course, good offense - or at least a productive one - is a prerequisite for winning playoff games. LA lost this series last year because their bats went into hibernation against Lester and Hendricks. If the Dodgers hitters are able to put together a representative effort, then all the pressure will be on the Cubs overworked pitching staff early in the series.

    Category : Betting Picks

    Tag : baseball , MLB Postseason

    More articles...
    Betting Picks - 30/11/20
    UFC 256: Figueiredo Heavily Favored To Defend Title 

    Before having a look at the UFC 256 betting picks we must know that it isn't often that the same fighter headlines successive UFC cards but that's the case at UFC 256. Deiveson Figueiredo, the UFC world flyweight champion, is the overwhelming -325 favorite in the UFC 256 odds against challenger Brandon Moreno in the main event of the Dec. 12 fight card from the UFC Apex. Figueiredo easily handled Alex Perez in his first title defense at UFC 255 on Nov. 21.

    Betting Picks - 23/11/20
    Tyson vs Roy Jones: Iron Mike Favored To Knock Out Jones 

    Boxing's seniors' tour comes to fruition on Nov. 28 as former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, 54, steps into the ring to face Roy Jones Jr., 51, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Jones, a world champion in five weight classes during his career, is the +150 underdog in the fight. Tyson is the odds-on -185 favorite. A Tyson knockout is also the +135 chalk as the most likely outcome.

    Betting Picks - 23/11/20
    NCAAB Futures Picks For The 2020-21 Season 

    Has Gonzaga's time come? Let's have a look at our experts' 2020'21 NCAAB futures betting picks.

    Betting Picks - 16/11/20
    UFC 255 Betting Picks: Figueiredo Heavily Favored Over Perez 

    Check out the UFC 255 experts' picks.