Gary | Sat 15/10/2016 - 15:12 EDT

NLCS Betting Tips

Who Is Going To Win NLCS?

By Angelo Montilla

The Cubbies are attempting to snap a World Series drought that has spanned more than 100 years, while the Dodgers are looking to win its first championship since 1988.

The two clubs will clash in a highly anticipating best-of-seven National League Championship Series with a spot in the final on the line.

Here are several betting options to consider heading into the NLCS.

Chicago Cubs (-215) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (+450)

Chicago Cubs

The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to relish the underdog role in the post-season.

Fresh off a Game 5 victory in the NLDS, the Dodgers are now preparing to face the World Series favorite Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series beginning on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

“We’re going to be underdogs this whole playoffs,” Dodgers closer Kensley Jansen told reporters. “Nobody believed the we were going to win the division. Everyone focused on different teams and forgot about us.”

The Dodgers — +450 underdogs in this series according to BetOnline oddmakers — will face Jon Lester in Game 1. Los Angeles will counter with right-hander Kenta Maeda, who has gone 0-3 in his last three starts with an 11.17 ERA.

Chicago enters the opening match expected favorites as Bet365 has a -210 line the Cubs will win Game 1. The online sportsbook is also offering bettors an enticing +175 line the Dodgers will pull off an early upset in the NLCS opener.

After Lester, the Cubs will likely roll out Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. The Dodgers are expected to counter with ace Clayton Kershaw in Game 2 on very short rest along with Rich Hill and Julio Urias in Games 3 and 4.

While both sides boast strong starting rotations and solid bullpens, the Cubs and Dodgers have struggled at the plate, especially against each other. Chicago won the regular-season series 4 games to 3 and outscored the Dodgers 19-16. However, the Cubs posted a dreadful .199 batting average to go along with a dismal .592 OPS, marking the team’s worst season performance against a National League club.

Chicago’s production at the plate has carried over to the post-season, where Anthony Rizzo — a candidate for NL most valuable player — went 1-for-15 in the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants.

Los Angeles hasn’t been impressive head-to-head against the Cubs either, hitting a woeful .164 batting average with a .487 OPS. Perhaps the Dodgers will need much-needed production from players such as Adrian Gonzalez, who has a .300 average and two home runs in his only other NLCS appearance in 2013. 

Not everything has been bad at the plate though.

A bright spot for Los Angeles has been Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner, who has reached base in 13 of the 22 plate appearances in the NLDS and will look to carry over that consistency against the Cubs. For Chicago, third baseman Kris Bryant, who hit .175 last October, has stepped up his game in these playoffs, where he had a .375 average in the NLDS.

The Dodgers have carved up right-handed pitchers all season long, ranking second in batting average and third in OPS against righties. The fact that the Cubs lack left-handed starting pitchers after Lester may also work to Los Angeles’ advantage early on.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The key in this series will be in Game 1 and whether the Dodgers can take the early advantage with ace Clayton Kershaw likely to get the call on the mound in the season game of the NLCS.

In eight career starts, Kershaw owns a 5-3 lifetime record against the Cubbies, while also posting a 2.18 ERA to go along with 68 strikeouts in that span.

The question is how deep will this series go? Can the Cubs end things quickly or will the NLCS go the distance and be determined in seven games?

BetOnline has a +325 line the Cubs will need six games to advance to its first World Series since 1945 when the team lost to the Detroit Tigers in the championship. BetOnline oddsmakers also have a +550 line the Dodgers will take out the Cubbies in a seventh and deciding game to advance to the World Series.

The series will come down to who will be more effective at the plate and it seems the Cubs have a few more weapons down the stretch.

Pick: Chicago Cubs (-215)

Category : Sports Betting News

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