Brooms will be in fashion Wednesday night on Chicago’s North Side where the Cubs have an opportunity to sweep the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers on this year’s Cinco de Mayo baseball betting card.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 – 7:40 p.m. EDT at Wrigley Field
Rain postponed Monday’s series opener between Chicago and Los Angeles, forcing a doubleheader on Tuesday. The Cubs took them both, 7-1 and 4-3, sending the Dodgers to their 11th and 12th defeats in the last 16 games. Those victories helped Chicago stay just 3.5-games behind the streaking Cardinals atop the NL Central, while the losses dropped Los Angeles into a 2nd-place tie with San Diego in the NL West.
LA Has Dropped 9 of Last 14 at Wrigley
Tuesday’s twinbill was the first meeting between the two since June 2019, and Chicago’s sweep ended what had been a 5-game win streak in the series for Los Angeles. Both contests jumped totals, leaving the last 14 matchups at Wrigley Field 5-9 O/U. Top sportsbooks like the Dodgers’ chances of getting out of Chicago with at least one win, LA running in the -170 to -180 range with Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.16) facing Adbert Alzolay (1-2, 4.71).
April closed on a bit of sour note for Buehler last Tuesday at home. Closing as a heavy -260 favorite against Cincinnati on the MLB odds board, the former Vanderbilt star allowed five runs in his 6+ innings of work, and the Reds ultimately won by a 6-5 count. He did record a season-high 10 strikeouts in his fifth consecutive assignment of six innings or more, and finished the season’s first month with an outstanding 31:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Buehler will be making his third career start against the Cubs, and second at Wrigley Field. In three previous appearances versus Chicago, including one relief outing, the righthander is 0-1 with a 5.26 ERA. Most of that bloated ERA comes from the lone bullpen call in 2018, a 1-inning, 5-ER debacle.
Dodgers Seeing Alzolay for First Time
Chicago was scuffling prior to the Dodgers coming to town. The Cubs had lost seven of their last nine prior to winning a pair on Tuesday, and had just completed a 2-5 journey last week through Atlanta and Cincinnati. Kris Bryant has been doing his best to fuel the offense, collecting a double in each game on Tuesday to give him at least one hit in 14 of Chicago’s last 16 games, and his 9 HR are just one behind MLB leader Ronald Acuña Jr.
This was to have been Jake Arrieta’s turn to take the mound for the Cubs, but a thumb injury landed the veteran on the injured list. Alzolay was moved up a day, though he’ll still be working on five days rest after an assignment last Thursday in Atlanta. Chicago was a +120 underdog at Intertops (visit our Intertops Review) and Alzolay turned in a dandy performance (6 IP, 2 ER, 6 K) to earn his first win of the 2021 campaign.
That start in Atlanta was the first time Alzolay faced someone other than Milwaukee this season after all three of his previous starts came against the Brewers, and this will be his first career start against the Dodgers. The 26-year-old Venezuelan is 1-2 with a 4.55 ERA in five career starts and one relief appearance at Wrigley Field (25.2 IP).
Umpire Notes, Windy City Weather & A Free Pick
Ted Barrett’s crew of field arbiters is all jumbled up in this series, beginning with regular Angel Hernandez being away. Coupled with the extra call-up for the doubleheader on Tuesday, young fill-ins John Bacon and Ryan Wills have joined the group. Bacon has yet to work the plate in a game this season, and I’m doubting his first will be in a high-profile game like the Dodgers and Cubs. Wills is a candidate to have the dish this evening, and is 2-5 O/U in 2021.
Barrett and Stu Scheurwater called balls and strikes in Tuesday’s tilts, leaving regular Lance Barksdale as another possible choice to work the plate Wednesday evening. The 22-year veteran owns a 4-2 O/U mark this season, and his last three games behind the mask at Wrigley were ‘under’ winners.
It’s going to be a sunny afternoon in Chicago, but the thermometer is expected to barely scratch into the 50s with clouds building after sunset. The game-time forecast calls for a 7-9 mph breeze out of the east (in from right). I’m thinking we can expect to see an 8-run total, and I’m willing to play it ‘under’ with my free MLB pick.
Free MLB pick: Under 8 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Under 8 (-110)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.