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MLB Picks, Odds, Predictions | MLB Betting Preview | Wednesday, April 5

MLB Picks, Odds, Predictions | MLB Betting Preview | Wednesday, April 5 article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Nico Hoerner

  • The Reds and Cubs meet once against on Wednesday afternoon in Cincinnati.
  • Both teams will throw their Opening Day starters in this one, with Hunter Greene going for the Reds and Marcus Stroman pitching for the Cubs.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Cubs vs. Reds Odds

Wednesday, April 5
12:35 p.m. ET
Cubs Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+102 / -124
Reds Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
+102 / -124
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Hunter Greene and the Cincinnati Reds play host to the Marcus Stroman and the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday for a matinee outing.

Greene continued his 2022 struggles with his first start, giving up three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. He did strike out eight, but also walked 3.

Stroman had a great opening start for the Cubs after a solid second half a season ago. He tossed six shutout innings, allowing three hits and walking three..

Green has the propensity to be one of the league’s best arms, but with the Reds’ bullpen and a few key injuries to the lineup, do the Cubs hold value?

Chicago Cubs

Stroman held a 3.50 ERA in 2022 with a 3.94 xERA. This was mostly due to a second half where he posted a 2.71 ERA after having a 4.69 ERA in the first half. There is a reason why most of his peripherals were not too flattering. That said, he still ranked in the 75th percentile in walk rate and had a sub-4.00 xERA, which was encouraging going into this season.

The Cubs did struggle against right-handed pitching in 2022 from August 1 through the end of the regular season. They held a 91 wRC+, while walking less than 8% of the time. Seiya Suzuki opens the season on the injured list, but the rest of the team is healthy and the lineup is quite a bit different from what we saw a season ago.

Dansby Swanson had a 108 wRC+ off of righties last season. Cody Bellinger was not sharp with the stick last year, but he was better against righties than lefties. Trey Mancini had a 2022 wRC+ of 111 off of right-handers, and Eric Hosmer was a touch under 100.

Either way, they bolstered what was a pretty weak lineup and this should help with the experience against Greene.

The Cubs’ bullpen also ranked in the middle of the road. However, it was stronger than Cincinnati’s. The Cubs had a 3.84 xFIP in relief, although many of those relievers left the team. Michael Fulmer, Brad Boxberger, Julian Merryweather, Adbert Alzolay and Keegan Thompson are all solid relief options.

Stroman likely will not need this many arms behind him as an inning-eater, but it does not hurt to have options.

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Cincinnati Reds

Greene oozes potential. He was a top prospect for a reason and showcased some of these talents with a second half ERA of 1.02 in 2022 over six starts. It also helped because he was more under control with 51 strikeouts against eight walks over that span. His strikeout rate ranked in the 91st percentile in 2022, so again, this is encouraging.

The Reds’ lineup is not encouraging. Joey Votto and Nick Senzel are injured, and the rest of the lineup has its issues. In 2022 against righties, the Reds held a 71 wRC+ from August 1 and beyond. With many of the same options out there, they may struggle with a savvy veteran like Stroman.

In relief, the Reds had a 4.35 xFIP in 2022, ranking 27th in all of baseball. Alexis Díaz is an ace closer, but the rest of the staff will have to fill in the gaps after Greene exits.

Green will strike people out, but his pitch count can accrue quickly, which provides a boost to the Cubs and their relief staff.

Cubs vs. Reds Betting Pick

Stroman has a slight edge over Greene here simply by virtue of being more likely to pitch deep into this ballgame.

Greene will be a great pitcher one day, but his issues with control will not help against a team that has improved vastly against right-handed pitching.

Take the Cubs at -125 or better.

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