LA Dodgers (0-1) at Chicago Cubs (1-0)
When: Sunday, October 16th 2016
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: FOX Sports 1
The Los Angeles Dodgers will hope that ace Clayton Kershaw will help them earn a split after two games of the National League Championship Series with the Chicago Cubs. Miguel Montero broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 8th inning Saturday night with a grand slam off reliever Joe Blanton to help the Cubs to an 8-4 victory in Game 1. The Dodgers rallied from down 3-1 to tie the game in the top of the 8th thanks to a 2-run single by Adrian Gonzalez off of closer Aroldis Chapman, but the Cubs struck back in the bottom half of the inning. Dexter Fowler followed Montero’s slam with a homer of his own. The Cubs jumped on starter Kenta Meada early and took a 3-0 lead after two innings. Chicago starter Jon Lester sent six strong innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter after throwing only 77 pitches. Fowler, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez had two hits apiece for the Cubs, while Anthony Rizzo continues to struggle (0-for-5). Rizzo is now 1-for-20 this postseason. Andre Ethier had a pinch-hit homerun for the Dodgers and Andrew Toles collected two hits of the bench.
Pitchers: Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 5.84 ERA) | Cubs – Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 4.91)
Kershaw pitched in all three victories in the NLDS against Washington including getting the final two outs in the Game 5 clincher after throwing 110 pitches two days prior. Kershaw has not been his usual dominant self over the last month. He lost three of his final four decisions in the regular season and has given up eight runs this postseason despite striking out 19 in 12.1 innings of work.
Klyle Hendricks only has 3.2 innings under his belt this postseason and will get the Game 2 start. Hendricks gave up two runs and four hits against San Francisco in the NLDS before getting hit by a batted ball and leaving in the fourth inning. Hendricks went 7-1 in his last 10 starts during the regular season and had a 1.68 ERA after the All-Star break. Hendricks was tremendous at home this season going 9-2 with a 1.32 ERA.
It’s widely known that Kershaw hasn’t been very good in the postseason and it’s continuing this year. He has not been the same since coming off the DL with a back injury and he might be a little overworked right now. Hendricks home record speaks for itself and I think he’ll be strong tonight. I’ll take the home dog in this one.
Pick: Cubs +115