The Cubs and Dodgers have started this season on opposite paths, but not the paths you’d expect. Chicago looks like a postseason contender while the Dodgers are struggling to get above .500. Is this the series that can wake up Dave Roberts’ team? Julio Urias will be on the mound Friday against Drew Smyly. The Dodgers are favored at -175 on the moneyline per DraftKings sportsbook.
Let’s make predictions for Friday afternoon’s matchup and break down why betting against Julio Urias would be a risky decision.
Dodgers vs. Cubs Prediction
On what could be a breezy day at hitter-friendly Wrigley Field, the pitching disparity might make the difference here. After Smyly was able to outduel Urias a week ago, the chances of a repeat performance don’t seem great. The Dodgers should be able to hit for more power against a veteran starter with a long history of giving up home runs, especially if the breezy forecast turns out to be accurate.
The Cubs’ lineup has gotten off to a hot start this season, but it’s very tough to beat Urias back-to-back. The Dodgers lefty continues to look like a potential Cy Young contender and can pitch in any environment. The Cubs don’t have a lineup that leans too left-handed aside from Cody Bellinger, so Urias doesn’t match up perfectly, but he’s good enough to keep the ball in the ballpark better than Smyly might on Friday.
In what could be a bit of a high-scoring game, Dodgers -1.5 (+100) is worth the risk.
Dodgers vs. Cubs Prediction: Dodgers -1.5 (+100)
Dodgers vs. Cubs Odds
The Dodgers enter as solid road favorites at -155 on the moneyline. The over/under is 8.5 runs. You can get LA -1.5 at +100.
The Cubs should have some kind of home-field advantage in a Friday matinee at Wrigley Field, but Urias is the difference in this line and should be the difference in this game. The Cubs have impressed early on, but are they ready to go toe-to-toe with a likely Cy Young contender.
Dodgers vs. Cubs Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Dodgers vs. Cubs
Cody Bellinger vs. Julio Urias
Former Dodger Cody Bellinger has been a huge reason for the Cubs’ early success, hitting not just for power but for contact as well after three down years in Los Angeles. Whether Urias can neutralize him will be key.
Bellinger, a lefty, historically hits better against right-handers, and that’s continued to be the case this season. One major exception: Bellinger homered off of Urias, a left-hander, last week. It would be pretty stunning to see Bellinger do damage against a lefty as dominant as Urias in back-to-back starts. The Cubs would be missing something if he comes back down to Earth.
Dodgers’ Power Hitters vs. Drew Smyly
Smyly has had some (very) elevated home run rates throughout his career. The Dodgers were able to get one off of him, thanks to Chris Taylor, when they faced off last week, but that was about all the damage LA was able to do.
At a ballpark that allows some pretty cheap homers, the Dodgers will have to get some more out of their big bats this time. Whether that’s Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, or even the rookie James Outman, someone will need to step up as this talented Dodgers lineup faces an average pitcher for the second time in as many weeks.
Based on Smyly’s history, home runs could be an issue for him. That’s a major reason for my Dodgers vs. Cubs prediction. The current forecast calls for a fairly steady wind to be blowing out to the outfield, which could make it a tough day for pitchers.
Dodgers vs. Cubs Starting Lineups
Dodgers Starting Lineup
RF Mookie Betts R
1B Freddie Freeman L
C Will Smith R
3B Max Muncy L
DH J.D. Martinez R
LF James Outman L
2B Miguel Vargas R
CF Jason Heyward L
SS Miguel Rojas R
Cubs Starting Lineup
2B Nico Hoerner R
SS Dansby Swanson R
LF Ian Happ S
RF Seiya Suzuki R
CF Cody Bellinger L
3B Patrick Wisdom R
1B Eric Hosmer L
DH Trey Mancini R
C Tucker Barnhart L