The Chicago Cubs look to expand their lead atop the NL Central on Tuesday night when they open a series at the last-place Cincinnati Reds. The Cubbies are MLB betting favorites behind red-hot pitcher Kyle Hendricks.
Cubs vs Reds MLB Spread & Expert Prediction
- When: Tuesday, 6:40 PM ET
- Where: Great American Ball Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Kyle Hendricks/Tanner Roark
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: SiriusXM
- MLB Spread: Chicago Cubs -1.5 (Total 9.5)
First meeting. Over the previous 4 seasons (2015-2018), the Cubs’ .671 winning percentage vs the Reds (51-25) is the best by any team against any division opponent. The Cubs won 14 of the previous 18 series vs Cincinnati. Cubs batters have homered in 25 of their last 30 games at Great American Ball Park.
Why Bet on Chicago?
The Cubs are unbeaten in their last nine series (8-0-1) dating to the team’s first series at home, April 8-11 vs. Pittsburgh. This run started after the team dropped its first three series of the season, all on the road. Chicago was last unbeaten in at least nine-straight series last season when it went 5-0-5 in 10 series of multiple games from July 31-September 2.
Chicago is 24-14 (.622) through 38 games, the team’s best start since 2016. The team owns the best winning percentage in the N.L. and the fourth-best in the majors. Since April 11, the Cubs have posted a major league-best winning percentage, going 21-6 in that span. Chicago has now won 12 of its last 14 games, 15 of it’s last 19 and 19 of its last 24.
The Cubs are 22-7 since April 8, and hold the top spot in the N.L. Central Division, after starting the year 2-7 and 5.5 games back in the division through play on April 7. Chicago’s hurlers have posted a 2.41 ERA in their last 29 games since April 8, by far the best ERA in that span. Cincinnati is second in that span with a 3.17 ERA. Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 2.35 ERA in the team’s last 27 games. The Cubs bullpen has posted a 2.23 ERA and .585 OPS against in its last 29 games starting April 7 after posting a 9.51 ERA (31 ER/29.1 IP) and 1.041 OPS against in its first eight games from March 28-April 6.
The Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 3.19) has given up zero earned runs in three of his past four starts, turning in a 2.17 ERA with 24 strikeouts vs. three walks in 29 innings in that stretch. Hendricks allowed just one unearned run in 8.0 innings last Wednesday vs. Miami. That followed a complete game shutout May 3 vs. St. Louis, needing just 81 pitches. It was his fourth career complete game, third shutout, and marked the fewest pitches by a Cub in a shutout since Jon Lieber (78 pitches) in 2001.
Hendricks has a 0.62 ERA (2 ER/29.0 IP) in four starts at Wrigley Field this season, compared to an 0-3 mark with an 8.78 ERA (13 ER/13.1 IP) in three road starts. He was 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts against the Reds in 2018. He has gone 5-2 with a 3.45 ERA (29 ER/75.2 IP) in 13 career starts against the Reds. He made his major league debut at Great American Ball Park, July 10, 2014. Hendricks is 1-2 with a 5.77 ERA (22 ER/34.1 IP) in six career starts at Cincinnati.
- Runs: 5.42
- Hits: 8.66
- Walks: 4.55
- Strike Outs: 8.92
- Runs: 4.00
- Hits: 7.76
- Walks: 4.16
- Strike Outs: 9.26
Why Bet on Cincinnati?
The Reds had a three-game winning streak snapped Sunday in a 6-5 loss to San Francisco to end a West Coast trip. The Reds had a couple of chances to leave San Francisco with a three-game series sweep but could not quite finish it off. The Giants scored two runs in the eighth inning against David Hernandez.
Hernandez was a huge part of Saturday’s 5-4 victory when he pitched two scoreless innings and struck out five of his six batters while looking overpowering. He also threw 25 pitches in that game, but manager David Bell opted to go back to him again despite having right-handers Michael Lorenzen, Jared Hughes and Robert Stephenson in the bullpen.
Eugenio Suarez went 2-for-5 with a stolen base and two runs scored in the loss. The stolen base was the first of the season for the 27-year-old, who is just 24-for-40 in the department in his lifetime. He’s much better at hitting homers, something he’s done 12 times this year, and with Sunday’s multi-hit game — his fourth in a row — Suarez is batting .259/.341/.565 with 26 RBI and 23 runs scored on the year.
After a slow start that still has him batting .217/.269/.392, Yasiel Puig has been showing signs of finding his swing. During his current season-high four game hitting streak, he is 6-for-16 (.375) and hit two homers at San Francisco on the weekend. The Reds’ team ERA of 3.28 leads the National League and ranks second in the majors behind Tampa Bay. The Reds’ bullpen ERA of 3.28 leads the National League and ranks fourth in the majors.
The Reds are switching Tanner Roark (3-1, 3.27) and Sonny Gray in the rotation to keep Roark on a five-day pitching schedule after he’s allowed two runs on seven hits over 12.2 innings during his last two starts. The 32-year-old has a 1.43 WHIP and 37:19 K: BB though eight outings this season.
Gray’s past two starts have been lackluster while Roark has been strong.
“Tanner’s been locked in, and we’re keeping him on normal rest,” Bell said. “With the off-days coming up, he’s also going to get extra rest. His next two starts will be on regular rest. He’s got a six-day after that.”
- Runs: 4.17
- Hits: 7.20
- Walks: 3.20
- Strike Outs: 8.83
- Runs: 3.44
- Hits: 7.51
- Walks: 3.34
- Strike Outs: 9.59
Cubs vs Reds MLB Betting Trends
- Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings
- Over is 5-1 in Hendricks’ last 6 road starts vs. Reds
- Cubs are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games when playing on the road against Cincinnati
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Chi Cubs’ last 5 games this season
- Reds are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games against an opponent in the National League
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Cincinnati’s last 5 games at home
Expert Final Score Prediction for Cubs vs Reds
Chicago Cubs 5 – Cincinnati Reds 6