One of the marquee series around the majors this weekend starts Thursday night when the Chicago Cubs visit the Los Angeles Dodgers. It could be a postseason preview, although neither team is even leading its division right now or even playing all that well at the moment. All eyes will be on the Dodgers' Walker Buehler, an NL Cy Young candidate who can accomplish something no Dodgers pitcher has done before – and there have been quite a few Hall of Fame pitchers with that franchise. L.A. is a heavy favorite on the William Hill Sportsbook MLB odds.
The Mets' Jacob deGrom is going to win the NL Cy Young Award barring injury and is a heavy -325 favorite, but it's almost criminal that Buehler's odds are way down at +3500. The 26-year-old right-hander is 7-0 with a 2.38 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
Some of the best pitchers in MLB history wore a Dodgers uniform, and Orel Hershiser holds the all-time record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings set in 1988. While that is phenomenal, Hershiser never went more than six straight starts without a loss.
Buehler, meanwhile, hasn't lost a start since Sept. 19, 2019, at Dodger Stadium against the Rockies – 23 consecutive starts without a loss. That has tied the franchise record set by someone named Kirby Higbe from 1943-46. The MLB record is 30 starts in a row without a loss set by Roger Clemens from 1998-99.
Buehler comes off a win at Arizona, allowing two runs and two hits over 7.1 innings with a season-high 11 strikeouts. Los Angeles has lost four times he has taken the mound this year, including on May 5 at the Cubs when Buehler took a no-decision after allowing two runs and five hits over six. Chicago won the game 6-5 in 11 innings and swept that three-game series vs. Los Angeles, the Cubs' first sweep in the series at Wrigley Field since 2008. The Cubs were playing a lot better than and the Dodgers were in a funk.
The Dodgers come off being swept at rival San Diego and didn't have former AL MVP Mookie Betts on Wednesday due to a stomach bug that forced him out during Tuesday's game. Consider him questionable here.
It's Zach Davies (4-6, 4.66) on the mound for Chicago. The right-hander had been pitching fabulous since the start of May (1.86 ERA) but was roughed up for eight runs over six innings last Friday in a loss to Miami.
Davies missed the Dodgers in the earlier series and is 3-3 with a 2.37 ERA in eight career starts against them, none with the Cubs. He is 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA in four career outings at Dodger Stadium. Justin Turner has had the most success of any current L.A. player off Davies, going 7-for-20 with a homer.
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