MLB Baseball Betting: Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers

MLB Baseball Betting:  Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers

Sunday night baseball features an entertaining matchup between two National League teams looking for a postseason run. The Chicago Cubs have lost four straight but remain in control of the National League’s second wild card playoff berth due in large part to the blistering pace set by the NL Central this season. They’re six games back of second place Pittsburgh–the other NL wild card aspirant–and 9.5 games back of division leading St. Louis. They only have two teams behind them within realistic striking distance in the wild card race–San Francisco (4.5 games back) and Washington (8 games back) are the only teams within double digits of the Cubs.

The Dodgers lead the aforementioned San Francisco Giants by 4.5 games in the NL West and with the Central Division having a firm grasp on the wild card spots they need to hold on to that lead. None of the divisional entrants have shown much urgency heading into the month of September–over the past 10 games every NL West team is .500 or below. The Dodgers do have a formidable home field record working in their favor at 44-20 +11 units. That includes victories in the first two games of this series.

As every baseball fan knows, the complexion of the MLB teams will change dramatically over the next 24 hours–some more than others. On September 1, MLB rosters expand from 25 to 40 players giving teams the opportunity to give prospects playing time. How much playing time they get is a function of several things, not the least of which is the playoff prospects of teams. This is something to be mindful of going forward when handicapping baseball.

In this game, however, it’s not going to be a huge issue. We’ll go with Chicago based on several factors. They’re playing to avoid a sweep and that’s always a good situation from a betting standpoint. More importantly, Jake Arrieta has been nasty this year and particularly on the road. Away from Wrigley Field he’s got an ERA of 1.94 and the Cubs have won 12 of his 14 starts. With LA’s primary rival in the NL West coming in for a three game series this is a made to order flat spot for the home team.