Cubs vs. Dodgers prediction and odds for Friday, April 14 (Steele gives Cubs pitching edge)

Justin Steele allowed just one run over 12 innings through his first two starts this season
Justin Steele allowed just one run over 12 innings through his first two starts this season / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs start a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers today as Justin Steele takes the mound against Noah Syndergaard.

Steele has been sensational through two outings, allowing just one run over 12 innings with 11 strikeouts as he's delivering on the promise he showed last year. He's a pitcher I'm looking to back often and today is no different.

On the other side, Syndergaard looked stellar in his first start but allowed eight hits and six runs in only four innings against the Diamondbacks last week.

I like the value on the Cubs as road underdogs behind Steele and will explain why below, but let's first check out the odds.

Cubs vs. Dodgers odds, run line, and total

Cubs vs. Dodgers prediction and pick

I love getting +154 odds on who I believe is the far superior pitcher and think Justin Steele will thoroughly outclass Noah Syndergaard today. Los Angeles looked vulnerable over the last week and the Cubs are in a great position to take advantage.

There's a ton to like about Steele's start to the year. He ranks in the 89th percentiles in both average exit velocity and expected slugging percentage while posting a 2.42 xERA. Dating back to last year, the Cubs are 5-2 in his last seven starts wth the only two losses coming in games the offense combined for three runs.

Luckily, scoring runs shouldn't be an issue against Syndergaard. The man formerly known as "Thor" is in just the 19th percentile in expected batting average and 25th in whiff percentage, and his 4.32 xERA underscores a disappointing trend over the last few seasons.

Los Angeles lost both of Syndergaard's first two starts and is just 2-4 over its last six contests. While the Dodgers' lineup is still dangerous, I'm confident in Steele's ability to shut it down. I think these odds should be closer to +120 for Chicago, so I'm gobbling up the value on +154 with glee.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.