A four-game series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs will conclude on Sunday Night Baseball. The Dodgers have won two of the first three games and are heavy -190 favorites to win Sunday as well.
The Dodgers continue to be nothing short of dominant in the NL West this season. Despite a recent rough patch, Los Angeles still holds a 9.5-game lead over the Rockies and Diamondbacks. Of course, a rough patch for the Dodgers is simply going 4-5 over their last nine games.
The Cubs have also had a subpar week and need a win to avoid losing back-to-back series. Chicago has lost four of six and is just 8-7 during the month of June. Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Dodgers brought them back into a tie with the Brewers atop the NL Central, so for the Cubs, every game matters in such a tight race.
Lefty on the Rocks
Jose Quintana will get the start for the Cubs on Sunday. On the season, the Colombian lefty is 4-6 with a solid 3.89 ERA. However, he’s had some rough outings lately, failing to make it out of the fifth inning in two of his last three starts. To be fair, Quintana has had plenty of strong outings this season. But while his ERA at Wrigley Field is 2.98, his ERA on the road is 5.13, which could be a problem Sunday night in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers have arguably the most unforgiving lineup in baseball. The heart of their order is full of dangerous hitters, led by MVP favorite Cody Bellinger. The silver lining is that, outside of Justin Turner, the Dodgers rely on left-handed hitters to do most of the damage. If Quintana can keep the lefties in check, he might have a chance to traverse the Los Angeles lineup without too much trouble.
Can’t Touch This
The Dodgers will send ace Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound on Sunday. The Korean lefty has been close to unhittable this year, going 9-1 with a 1.36 ERA over his 13 starts. He posted a 0.59 ERA over six starts in May and has allowed just one run over 13 innings since the calendar flipped to June. He’s allowed no more than two runs in any start this season, and he’s allowed either one or zero runs in seven of his last eight outings.
For what it’s worth, the Cubs are a strong offensive team. Kris Bryant and David Bote are both locked in right now, and Javier Baez is always a threat despite his recent slump. Chicago’s problem is that they rely on a lot of left-handed hitters, most notably Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, and Jason Heyward. If they’re going to score runs on Sunday, they’ll need their lefties to get hits off Ryu.
The Dodgers with Ryu starting is one of the safest bets in baseball these days. The Cubs, to be fair, have a chance to win. But considering Quintana’s struggles on the road, it’s not worthwhile to take a chance on the underdogs. Bet on the Dodgers to beat the Cubs on Sunday.