After the Los Angeles Dodgers slugged their way to a 9-4 win at Wrigley Field on Saturday, they’ll be gunning for a win in this four-game set as they face off against the Chicago Cubs one more time in a Sunday matinee. First pitch is set for 2:20 p.m. ET. It’s a marquee matchup on the mound, as Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.52 ERA) gets the ball for L.A. while the Cubs counter with ace Marcus Stroman (2-1, 0.75).
The Dodgers are currently -135 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Cubs are +115 underdogs. The run total is set at 7.
Dodgers-Cubs picks: Sunday, April 23
Out: C Will Smith (concussion), SP Tony Gonsolin (left ankle sprain), SP Ryan Pepiot (left oblique strain), SS Miguel Rojas (left hamstring strain), SP Michael Grove (groin)
Out: SP Kyle Hendricks (right shoulder strain), SP Jameson Taillon (groin)
Clayton Kershaw vs. Marcus Stroman
What else can you say about Kershaw that hasn’t already been said? The future Hall of Famer has looked like his same old self so far this season, with 26 strikeouts in 25 innings of work. His last outing may have been his best, as he spun seven shutout innings in a win over the New York Mets’ fearsome lineup. His slider is as devastating as ever, and he hardly walks anyone.
Stroman could be in for a career year, as he enters play Sunday as the NL’s leader in ERA. Having Dansby Swanson’s defense behind him certainly helps the sinker-baller get outs, but Stroman is currently striking out over a batter per inning for the first time ever. His strikeout rate is nearly seven points higher than his career average, in large part thanks to a cutter that he’s throwing much more often.
This is a microscopic number, and for good reason — both of these starters have been lights-out while working deep into games this year. These are also two very good offenses, though, with the Cubs crushing righties and the Dodgers crushing lefties so far, and I’m banking on Stroman coming back to Earth a little bit today.
Pick: Over 7
Give me Kershaw in a big game, every time. Stroman is due for a little bit of batted ball regression, while the Dodgers have been very tough on righties so far this year and should eke out a close one.