MLB Predictions 2012: Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Chicago Cubs (43-62) and Los Angeles Dodgers (58-50) will close out a three-game National League series on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:10 ET

Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers 

The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the first two games of their series against the Chicago Cubs

Chicago has scored just six runs in losing four straight games, as the team has been unable to move past giving up much of its roster at the Trade Deadline.  “It comes at a time when you lose a few games in a row and everybody wants to blame it on the Trade Deadline,” commented Cubs manager Dale Sveum.  Rookie first baseman Anthony Rizzo was one of the main reasons for the club’s solid July, but he’s gone just 3 for 19 at the plate in six career games against the Dodgers.  Chicago is 6-10 as a road underdog of +150 to +175 this season.

Cubs starting pitcher Justin Germano (1-1, 1.98 ERA) will be making just his fourth appearance of the 2012 campaign, earning a 14-4 home victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in his last effort, allowing two runs and four hits over five frames.  The right-hander is 5-11 with a 4.82 ERA in 44 career away games (21 starts), which isn’t likely to improve in this spot.  In three career outings at Dodger Stadium, Germano has compiled an 0-3 record and 8.80 ERA.

Los Angeles has won the first two games of this series to keep pace the San Francisco Giants in the NL West race, sitting just a half-game back in the standings.  “Arizona was a tough series,” commented Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw.  “I don’t know if it was a wake-up call, but we had to play better than we did.”  The pitching staff has certainly responded in allowing just two runs in the first two games of this series.  Los Angeles is 24-11 as a home favorite of -150 to -175 since the 2010 campaign.

Dodgers starting pitcher Joe Blanton (8-9, 4.59 ERA) will make his first start for his new team, coming off a 2-1 road loss to the Atlanta Braves in his last effort, giving up two runs and four hits over seven frames.  The right-hander is 4-3 with a 4.59 ERA in 10 home outings, issuing nine walks and striking out 61 batters in 66.2 combined innings.  In five lifetime appearances versus the Cubs, Blanton has compiled a 1-0 record and 2.91 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Dodgers due to their 36-16 mark as a favorite of -151 to -200, while the Cubs are 3-9 versus NL West foes.

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