MLB Game Preview: Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers

Jul 7, 2022

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Game: Chicago Cubs @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Time: 10:10 p.m. ET

Odds: Cubs +230, Dodgers -290

Total: 8.5

Could it get any worse for the Chicago Cubs? At 34-48, they are in third place in the NL Central just barely ahead of fourth-place Pittsburgh. The Cubs are 12 games out of first place and it doesn’t appear they are going to catch either St. Louis or Milwaukee in the division race. However, the Cubs did beat Milwaukee the last two nights to win a series over the Brewers. They had to face ace Corbin Burnes and now tonight they will face Dodgers ace Tony Gonsolin.

Gonsolin is a perfect 10-0 so far this season. He was the first National League pitcher to reach 10 victories and he has done so against some pretty good lineups. In his last two starts, Gonsolin held both San Diego and Atlanta to a single run. Gonsolin’s ERA is just 1.54 and the Dodgers have won his last seven starts in a row. Of the 15 starts, Gonsolin has made in 2022, the Dodgers have lost just three times. The NL Cy Young favorite has yet to allow more than two earned runs in a single start.

The Cubs lineup doesn’t scare too many pitchers. They are an average offense scoring 4.38 runs per game. That ranks 16th in MLB. In their last five games, the Cubs scored more than three runs just once and totaled two runs in three separate games.

The bigger problem for the Cubs is pitching. They have one of the worst overall pitching staff ERAs in MLB. There are only five teams with a worse bullpen ERA than Chicago. Tonight, Mark Leiter Jr. gets the start. He is 2-2 with a 4.85 ERA this season. It’s no secret that he’s an opener. He hasn’t pitched more than four innings in his three starts this season. In his last start, he went two innings and allowed two hits and no runs against Atlanta. All three of Leiter’s starts came in April.

The Dodgers have won six of their last seven games. They took three of four games from the Padres and swept a quick two-game series with the Rockies. The Cubs have won six of their last eight games and have won their last three series against Cincinnati, Boston, and Milwaukee.

The Dodgers were the first team to pass 400 runs this season. They continue to battle the Yankees for the top spot in runs per game. Currently, the Dodgers are second at 5.00 runs per game. Despite all the scoring, the Dodgers are a profitable Under team with an O/U record of 31-42-7 this season. Pitching has something to do with that. Of Gonsolin’s last eight starts, seven of the games ended up with the total going Under. The only one that didn’t was because the Dodgers scored eight runs of their own.

That’s possible tonight as the Cubs go with Leiter to start and then will turn it over to one of MLB’s worst bullpens.