The Chicago Cubs continue their four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and MLB picks.
Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Saturday, June 26, 2021 – 07:15 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium
Alec Mills vs. Julio Urias
Alec Mills (3-1, 5.18 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) will make his fourth start of the season. The right-hander threw five scoreless innings against the Marlins last Sunday, surrendering six hits with three strikeouts and zero walks in a 2-0 win. Mills is now 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in three starts this season, with nine strikeouts over 13 1/3 innings. He faced the Dodgers on May 5th and gave up two unearned runs on three hits with one strikeout and two walks in two innings of relief in a 6-5 win. The current Dodgers lineup is 3-for-8 (.312) against Mills. Max Muncy is 1-for-2 with one double against him and Mookie Betts is 0-for-2.
Julio Urias (9-3, 3.99 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) is coming off one of his worst starts of the season. The left-hander allowed six earned runs on six hits (two home runs) with five strikeouts and four walks over just four innings in a 6-2 loss against the Padres on Monday. Urias is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in four career appearances (two starts) against the Cubs, with 16 strikeouts over 16 innings. Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward hit him well. Baez is 2-for-5 (.400) with one home run and three RBIs, Bryant is 2-for-7 (.286) with a solo home run and Heyward is 2-for-4 (.500) with a solo home run.
The Dodgers opened at -185 at Bet365, but over at FiveThirtyEight, they already have them at -150 based on our calculations (they suggest will win this game 60 percent of the time). The player to watch for the Cubs is Javier Baez (96 Weighted Runs Created Plus). A Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) of 100 is the league average. Baez’s 96 would be four percent below the league average. Baez is 4-for-16 (.250) with two home runs and four RBIs in four games against the Dodgers this season.
The projected Cubs lineup has five batters with Isolated Power (ISO) above .185, four batters with a Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) above .340 and seven batters with a hard-hit percentage above 36 percent. Urias has 4.39 ERA in seven home starts this season and he is 2-2 with a 6.31 ERA in his last five starts. His opponents are hitting .317 against him in that span and he’s given up six home runs. Saturday’s weather report calls for clear skies over Dodger Stadium (a pitcher’s park) with around a 40-percent humidity at game time. Wind: SW 8 mph. And Los Angeles’ bullpen is just 13th overall at 1.8 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) according to FanGraphs. We’ll make it a small bet, but we’re taking the Cubs Team Total Over.
MLB Pick: Cubs Team Total Over 3.5 Runs (-110) at FanDuel