Los Angeles Dodgers vs Chicago Cubs Preview and Free Pick

LA Dodgers (27-25) at Chicago Cubs (35-14)
When: Tuesday, May 31st 2016
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: ESPN

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The Chicago Cubs bullpen cooled off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bats yesterday and will bring Jake Arrieta to the mound in hopes of making it two-straight against the visiting Dodgers on Tuesday. Chicago starter Jason Hammel left yesterday’s game after two innings with cramping in his hamstring and the bullpen completed the one-hit shutout in the 2-0 win. The Cubs have won six straight since a season-high three-game losing streak and they’ve allowed a total of five runs over the past four games. Monday’s loss was just the second in eight games for the Dodgers, who have allowed two or fewer runs in six of their last seven games. Dodgers 2B Chase Utley, who had a big series against the Mets over the weekend, is 0-for-10 with three strikeouts versus Arrieta. Cubs 2B/OF Ben Zobrist is 26-for-61 during a career-best 16-game hitting streak and has reached base in 35 consecutive starts.


Pitchers: Dodgers – Scott Kazmir (4-3, 4.84 ERA) | Cubs – Jake Arrieta (9-0, 1.72)

Scott Kazmir rebounded from a rough outing in San Diego (7 walks) to strikeout 12 Reds in just six innings on Wednesday in the Dodgers 3-1 victory. He allowed one run and four hits over those six innings in addition to the 12 strikeouts to win his second straight decision. Kazmir is 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA in two starts against the Cubs, but he hasn’t faced them since 2010 with the Angels.

The Cubs have won Arrieta’s last 23 starts, tying the major-league record set by Atlanta’s Kris Medlen from 2010-12. Arrieta has won 20 straight decisions, including Wednesday’s win over St. Louis in which he allowed four runs and seven hits over five innings. The last time he faced the Dodgers he no-hit them in Los Angeles in August. Arrieta had struggled in two previous starts against the Dodgers, losing both in 2013.

The Cubs are hot again and I don’t trust Kazmir at all. I can’t justify going against a team that has won 23 straight games when Arrieta starts. The price is high, so I’ll take the runline.

Pick: Cubs -1.5 -120