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Cubs lead series 1-0
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will try to help the Los Angeles Dodgers avoid an 0-2 hole when he takes the mound on Sunday in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the host Chicago Cubs. Los Angeles battled back to forge a tie before giving up five runs in the eighth inning to fall 8-4 on Saturday in the series opener.
Kershaw pitched in all three victories of the NL Division Series against Washington and owns a 5-3 career record with a 2.14 ERA against the Cubs, but he did not face them in 2016. Chicago will counter with Kyle Hendricks, who is healthy after suffering a forearm injury in the NLDS win over San Francisco and beat the Dodgers with eight innings of two-run ball on June 2. Miguel Montero belted a pinch-hit grand slam to break the tie Saturday while Kris Bryant and Javier Baez remained hot as both are 8-for-20 in the first five postseason games. The Cubs have won all three playoff games at Wrigley Field and finished a major league-best 57-24 at home during the regular season.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
WEATHER REPORT: The forecast is calling for an iffy day on the North Side of Chicago for Sunday night. Foggy conditions with temperatures in the mid-60’s and a 60 percent chance of showers early in the evening (reducing to a 10 percent chance after opening pitch). Winds will be light (2-3 mph) with humidity levels around 90 percent.
CURRENT SERIES PRICES (odds via Westgate LV Superbook):
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 5.84 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 4.91)
Kershaw has given up eight runs and 15 hits over 11 2/3 innings during the playoffs but got the final two outs for a save in Game 5 against Washington on Thursday. The 28-year-old Texan went 12-4 with a 1.69 ERA in the regular season despite losing three of his final four decisions. Dexter Fowler is 18-for-44 versus Kershaw, who is 3-6 with a 4.79 ERA in the postseason and went 4-3 with a 2.31 ERA on the road in 2016.
Hendricks gave up two runs and four hits over 3 2/3 innings against San Francisco in the NLDS before getting hit by a batted ball and leaving the contest. The 26-year-old Dartmouth product went 7-1 in his last 10 starts during the regular season and had a 1.68 ERA after the All-Star break. Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner both have homered versus Hendricks, who was 9-2 with a 1.32 ERA at home this year.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
* Dodgers are 0-9 in their last 9 League Championship road games.
* Dodgers are 9-1 in Kershaw’s last 10 road starts vs. a team with a winning record.
* Cubs are 1-7 in their last 8 League Championship games.
* Cubs are 7-1 in Hendricks’ last 8 starts.
* Under is 8-2-1 in Kershaw’s last 11 road starts.
* Under is 7-1 in Cubs last 8 home games vs. a left-handed starter.
* Under is 7-1 in Kershaw’s last 8 starts vs. Cubs.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 51 percent of the Covers public is on the Cubs and Over is picking up 61 percent of the early wagers.