The Chicago Cubs need starter Jose Quintana to help upset the MLB game lines and pick up his first win of the playoffs to force game 6 of the National League Championship Series to take place in Los Angeles. Quintana matched the Dodgers starter, Clayton Kershaw, in a five-inning no-decision in Game 1 at Dodger Stadium. The Cubbies could be, with another win, on their way to becoming only the second team to drop the first three games in a best-of-seven October series and then win the next four, but they have to take it one at a time.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 19, 2017
- Date: Thursday, 19th October
- Time: 8:00 PM
- Venue: Wrigley Field
- Sportsbook odds for fans who bet on MLB games:
Dodgers -1½ (EV) 7 (-120) -158
Cubs +1½ (-120) 7 (EV) +148
This is Ourselves Under Pressure
The Cubs have, counting Wednesday night’s, won five straight games when on the brink of elimination, including the last three games of the 2016 World Series. Needless to say, they perform better under pressure. Perhaps that pressure will finally give Quintana (LHP, 11-11, 4.15 ERA, 207 K), who has allowed just two earned runs in 11 1/3 innings, including 5 2/3 scoreless innings in the NLDS against the Nationals and two hits in five innings in game 1 against the Dodgers, that adrenaline rush needed to get the elusive win. It should also help that Chicago is 7-0 SU in their last 7 games at home with the Colombian, who has a 1.59 ERA in his three appearances in these playoffs, as the starting pitcher. Quintana has a 4.76 ERA in eight home starts but it’s the entire team, however, that has “to elevate” their offensive game, said general manager Joe Maddon. “It’s just that simple. It’s not about maybe, kind of, hopefully. We’ve got to do it.” The total, as seen on MLB game lines, has gone under in the Cubs’ last five home games.
And this is ourselves not under pressure
The Dodgers lead the series 3-1, the bullpen is unscored upon in all of October, and Kershaw (LHP, 18-4, 2.31 ERA, 202 K) has seen better days but remains a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner, an National League MVP, future Hall of Famer, and arguably the best in the world at what he does. “I wouldn’t say that the pressure is on us,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I think that we’re in a pretty good spot. We’ve got our No. 1 pitcher going tomorrow, and we’ve got two of the guys at the back end rested.” Kershaw has a 4.67 ERA and four walks in 11 1/3 innings in October, which is not at all like him, but you can never count him out. He won, pitching six scoreless innings, his lone previous start in a potentially series-defining game in the 2013 National League Division Series. The Dodgers are, generally speaking, 21-2 SU in their last 23 games with Clayton Kershaw as the starting pitcher. The total, as seen on MLB game lines, has gone under in five of the Dodgers’ last five games on the road playing the Cubs.