Julio Urias was a Cy Young candidate last season, and he's pitching even better this season.
Urias has pitched lights out so far this season, posting a 1.90 ERA in four starts, but had his worst start of the year against the Chicago Cubs last week. Can he bounce back against Chicago on the road?
On the other side, Drew Smyly takes the ball for the Cubbies, off a shut down outing from LA. Can he back it up with a second straight sterling start for the upstart Cubs?
Here are the odds for the Friday afternoon matchup:
Dodgers vs. Cubs odds, run line and total
Dodgers vs. Cubs prediction and pick
Smyly got the better of Urias last week, a 3-2 Chicago victory. Each pitcher went 5 2/3 innings but it was Smyly who stayed out of trouble, allowing only four hits and one earned run. Meanwhile, Urias allowed two earned runs (another unearend).
The Dodgers have struggled to hit lefties all season, 27th in batting average at .203, and Smyly has quietly been putting togheter a strong campaign after getting rocked in his first start. He has allowed just two eanred runs on six hits in his last two starts that have spanned 10 2/3 innings.
If LA can't hit Smyly again, a lot of pressure will fall on Urias, and I think he is up to it. Chicago is third in the bigs in batting average against left handed pitching this season with a glowing .311 mark, but I will side with Urias to keep up his strong to start the season.
He has an ERA below 2.00 with a strikeout to walk ratio of 26-to-3, while Chicago's offense has been humming, I think there is some underlying regression for the group that is lacking high end talent in the middle of the lineup.
The first game was a 3-2 Cubs win, and I can see a similar low scoring battle on Friday afternoon.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.