MLB Preview – Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs

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MLB Preview – Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs (My Pic)It’s been a good start to the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team that has won the NL West in eight of the last nine seasons looks likely to make its 10th straight postseason appearance. The Dodgers are the favorites to win the title per the MLB World Series odds at SugarHouse Sportsbook even though their division remains one of the tougher ones in baseball. They will be on the road for the next week, but they will be favored by the MLB betting odds in all of their games against the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Chicago Cubs will host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, May 8, 2022, at 7 p.m. ET from Wrigley Field. This game will be broadcast on ESPN as part of the station’s Sunday Night Baseball programming.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs Preview

This was always going to be a rebuilding year for the Chicago Cubs. The team traded away franchise cornerstones Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo before the deadline last year, and they made a concerted effort not to spend money to replace their production. Although the Cubs have some of the most diehard supporters in the sport, the Ricketts Family decided to slash payroll and ensure that the team would struggle in 2022.

Chicago hasn’t won a series since taking two of three from Milwaukee in the first series of the season. The Cubs hammered the Pirates 21-0 on April 23, but they lost the other three games in that four-game series, and they currently have the third-worst record in the National League at 9-15 coming into their three-game series with the Dodgers.

Marcus Stroman is set to get the start on Sunday night for the Cubs. Stroman is the highest-paid player on the roster, but he has struggled to start the 2022 campaign. The veteran right-hander has a 1-3 record with a 5.13 ERA, and the team has lost four of his five starts. While Stroman has been a little unlucky with a 1.18 WHIP, his two starts against Milwaukee were much better than his other three starts.

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If you’re looking for bright spots, it’s best to start with rookie Seiya Suzuki. The one nice signing the Cubs did make this offseason reached base in 12 straight games to start his MLB career. Suzuki has been struggling a bit lately with just one hit in his last six games before the start of the Dodgers’ series, but that’s part of the learning curve for young players.

Walker Buehler will come to the mound on Sunday night for the Dodgers. Buehler has had another strong start, and he is one of the favorites to win the NL Cy Young Award at SugarHouse Sportsbook. He is currently +850 by the NL Cy Young betting odds, trailing only three other players.

Buehler is carrying a 3-1 record with a 1.11 WHIP and a 2.12 ERA into Sunday night’s game. He hasn’t allowed a run in either of his last two starts, and he completed an increasingly rare feat two weeks ago in a 4-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Buehler allowed just three hits and struck out 10 batters in a complete game shutout.

At the start of the season, Jeff Passan stated that the Dodgers had the best lineup he’s ever seen in his three decades of covering baseball. Their offensive production hasn’t been great yet, but there are signs that the Dodgers are finally starting to heat up.

Freddie Freeman has been the best hitter on the team so far this season. Freeman leads the team in batting average, OBP, slugging, and OPS, and the 2020 NL MVP has been the one steady element in the Dodgers’ lineup.

Leadoff hitter Mookie Betts got off to a tough start, but he is improving, and the same can be said of Trea Turner. Unfortunately, Max Muncy and Justin Turner have both really struggled, and that has kept this lineup from reaching its potential. The downturn in Turner’s production is somewhat predictable considering the fan favorite will turn 38 later this year, but Muncy is in his early 30s and has hit 35 home runs or more in each of the last three full-length seasons.