Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
First pitch: 5:05 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Walker Buehler (2-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (3-0, 2.77 ERA)
Since a rough first outing to begin his campaign, Hamels has seemingly settled in very nicely. He’s registered three quality starts in as many tries, holding the opposition to a combined three runs across 21 innings within that span.
Not only does Hamels look like he’s in his groove, there’s the added bonus here that he’ll be working from his place of preference tonight. The 14-year veteran has looked masterful at Wrigley Field following his trade-deadline arrival in Chicago.
In fact, in his six starts from the Friendly Confines last year, Hamels crafted a superb 1.55 ERA and 1.01 WHIP while holding opposing hitters to a minuscule .201 batting average.
Hamels picked up where he left off in the
Windy City during his first Wrigley assignment of the year a couple of weeks ago, yielding just a single run in eight terrific innings against the Angels. And that was with those fearsome winds blowing out — luckily that doesn’t appear like it will be a factor this evening.
The left-hander could also benefit from the fact that the Dodgers ranked 20th last season in team batting average opposite southpaws (.240) and are hitting .236 with a lefty on the hill thus far in 2019. They’ve been churning out homers in that department but Hamels hasn’t been easy to take yard in Chicago.
The hope is that along with the usual steady performance from Hamels, under backers can get another encouraging turn in the rotation from Buehler, who I still think is one of the best young starters in the game despite his inconsistent beginning to the new season.
Buehler is at least on the upswing after putting together his best outing of ‘19, allowing just a single unearned run in six-plus innings vs. the Reds and scattering only three hits.
Perhaps most important, he set a season high in K’s with eight, which could be the key for him in returning to form if he’s racking up the strikeouts again.
Both clubs’ bullpens have underachieved up to this point but considering they each ranked in the top-10 a year ago, those relief cores should start improving sooner than later and can help with this wager. Play: UNDER 8 (-110)
Yesterday’s Result: Tigers-Red Sox Game One Under 8 (loss)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 14-12, +0.4 unit
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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