The Chicago Cubs made a statement on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, taking game one of their three-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers by the score of 8-2. Michael Groev (0-1, 14.73 ERA) will look to help L.A. answer back in game two on Saturday, while Jameson Taillon (0-2, 7.00 ERA) goes for Chicago. First pitch is set for 9:10 p.m. ET.
The Dodgers are currently -145 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Cubs are +125 underdogs. The run total is set at 9.
Cubs-Dodgers picks: Saturday, April 15th
Out: SP Kyle Hendricks (right shoulder strain), RP Brandon Hughes (left knee inflammation)
Out: SP Tony Gonsolin (left ankle sprain), SP Ryan Pepiot (left oblique strain), RP Jimmy Nelson (right elbow inflammation), RP Daniel Hudson (torn left ACL), RP Alex Reyes (frayed labrum in right shoulder)
Jameson Taillon vs. Michael Grove
Taillon hasn’t gotten off to the start he envisioned with his new club, despite showing improved velocity on his fastball. The righty allowed three runs on seven hits in four innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in his first outing, then coughed up five (four earned) on six hits in five frames against the Texas Rangers last Sunday. He has a 7.71 career ERA in three starts against L.A.
Grove found himself thrust into the Dodgers’ starting rotation due to injuries to Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin and Ryan Pepiot, and things haven’t gotten too well. Grove lasted just four innings in his first outing against the Colorado Rockies, then was bombed for nine runs on 12 hits in 3.1 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks last weekend.
The Cubs are swinging very hot bats right now and just got star Seiya Suzuki back off the injured list. They should be able to score early and often against Grove, and while this isn’t the loaded Dodgers lineups of yore, they are better against righties and should hold up their end of the bargain to help the over hit.
Pick: Over 9
Grove looks like a quad-A starter right now, with an extremely hittable fastball and not a ton of other answers. This is a deep and scary Cubs lineup right now and Chicago should be able to get another win with a rested bullpen.