April 23, 2011

MLB Picks: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs Preview 4/24/11

The Los Angeles Dodgers (11-11) and the Chicago Cubs (10-10) split the first two of their of three games at historic Wrigley Field this weekend, and the winner of Sunday’s nationally televised MLB betting affair will win the series.

LA has already plated 20 runs in the first two games of this series, which is a far cry from the 3.40 runs per game that it was putting up per game before this one got underway. Still, this isn’t a unit with much to be proud of offensively at this point, which is going to put a heck of a lot of pressure on Hiroki Kuroda to pitch well to finish the deal in the Windy City. Kuroda has an absolutely stellar career against the Cubs, allowing just two runs, only one of which was earned in 15.1 innings of work. He has a 0.59 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, and the Cubbies are only batting .204 against him in his career. Thus far this season, Kuroda is continuing with his rock solid pitching. For a man that just doesn’t issue that many walks, it’s no surprise to see Kuroda with just five free passes issued in four starts on the season. However, it is surprising to see that he is only 2-2 in spite of the fact that his ERA is a solid 3.33 and his WHIP is an amazing 1.19. Of course, the Japanese sensation hasn’t gotten any help from his bullpen, which has allowed 13 runs in four games that he has pitched, and the offense hasn’t done all that much either, giving him just 3.33 runs of support in his last three outings.

In the offseason, Cubs fans were screaming to get rid of Carlos Zambrano. Maybe they’re changing their tune now. Sure, Big Z had allowed an average of four runs per start in his first three outings, but he did pick up two wins and led the team to three victories. However, his most recent start gave us some flashes of the old Big Z that we had become accustomed to seeing from a few years ago. Zambrano allowed just three hits and one walk in eight scoreless frames against the San Diego Padres, and he struck out a whopping 10 batters. The Venezuelan knows that he is going to have to pitch well to get the benefit of his offense, which really has shown no signs of consistency yet this season. Case in point: The team only managed two runs against the Dodgers on Friday night, and then turned around and had 16 hits and 10 runs on Saturday. Even more remarkable, though, is the fact that the Cubs have been 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, and now 10-10 this season, and their comeback with five runs in the eighth inning on Saturday continued that streak.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs Pick: We’re a tad puzzled as to why the Cubs are the favored team in this game on the MLB odds. The Dodgers have already proven that they are capable in this series, as their offense is just feeling it right now. Chicago is too inconsistent, and we just don’t trust that Zambrano can keep this up for any extended period of time. LA will get the job done to close out the Cubs on Sunday on TBS. Go with the Dodgers +115.

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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