Cubs vs Reds Odds, Pick | Bet This Over/Under

Cubs vs Reds Odds, Pick | Bet This Over/Under article feature image

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Pictured: Nick Lodolo.

Cubs vs. Reds Odds, Pick

Friday, Jun 7
7:10 p.m. ET
Cubs Odds
-102o / -120u
Reds Odds
-102o / -120u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Chicago and Cincinnati are two of the teams I have had the most trouble handicapping this season, and they will square off Friday night in Game 2 of a four-game series.

The Reds began the season wildly inconsistent and suffered an eight-game losing streak at the beginning of May. They have since began to right the ship, winning 10 of their last 13 games, including an 8-4 victory last night to start this series.

The Cubs began the season on fire, especially on offense. They were 19-12 on May 1, but have gone just 12-20 since. On Friday, they will hand the ball to their ace, who is still working himself back from injury and hoping to regain his All-Star form.

Cincinnati opened as a slight favorite in this matchup, but it’s the total I am more interested in for my Cubs vs. Reds pick on Friday night.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Chicago Cubs

Will the real Justin Steele please stand up? Last season, Steele put together a Cy Young quality season. He finished third in the NL with a 3.06 ERA and tallied 16 wins, establishing himself as one of the game’s best pitchers.

He left his Opening Day start with an injury and missed more than a month. Since returning, the results have been mixed. Steele struggled in his return, allowing 15 runs over his first 20 2/3 innings off the injured list.

In his last two starts, Steele has allowed just one run across 12 innings. His strikeout numbers have still been inconsistent, but he has been able to lower his hard-hit rate in each start as he worked back from injury.

After starting off the season red hot, the Cubs' offense has gone ice cold. Through the end of April, Chicago ranked ninth in the league in scoring and had a wOBA of .311. Over the last 30 days, this team ranks 25th in scoring.

Chicago’s top bats — Seiya Suzuki, Christopher Morel, Nico Hoerner, and Dansby Swanson — have all struggled over the last month.

Cincinnati Reds

Former first-round pick and top-50 overall prospect Nick Lodolo has been terrific when on the mound for the Reds this season. Through eight starts, he has a 3.11 ERA, but injuries have slowed his breakout campaign. He has already had two stints on the injured list.

In two starts since his return, Lodolo has allowed three runs across 11 innings. He has a 2.95 xERA and ranks in the top 20% of the league in xBA, Whiff% and walk rate. He throws a four-pitch mix, relying on his fastball, curveball and changeup for 95% of his pitches.

While Lodolo has an average fastball, his curveball has been terrific. Opponents are batting just .190 with a .211 xwOBA and have a whopping 48.5% strikeout rate against his breaking ball.

Cincinnati’s offense has been up-and-down all season. The Reds clearly have talent throughout the lineup, yet they rank just 25th in wRC+ despite playing in one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the league.

Elly De La Cruz and Spencer Steer are the only players on the Reds with a wRC+ above 110, and De La Cruz has been ice cold over the last two weeks. Luckily, TJ Friedl recently returned from injury and Jeimer Candelario and Will Benson are finally getting going at the plate.

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Cubs vs. Reds

Betting Pick & Prediction

This handicap largely comes back to the confidence in Steele being fully back to the form we saw last season. He looked elite two weeks ago against Milwaukee, going seven scoreless innings, and then gave up five runs in his last outing against these Reds (only one run was earned).

Expected metrics say Steele has gotten unlucky as he has worked his way back from injury. I expect him to return to the elite form we saw last season.

Lodolo is flashing his potential, and when he is healthy and on the mound, he is a pitcher I am looking to back. He allowed two runs in six innings against the Cubs last week.

These two bullpens have started to find their form, ranking sixth and 13th in reliever ERA over the last month. The Reds' bullpen has been especially strong, with Fernando Cruz and Alexis Diaz forming a terrific one-two punch in the eighth and ninth.

Additionally, these are both offenses I struggle to have confidence in. Over the last month, the Cubs' offense has plummeted. They rank just 29th in the league with a .288 wOBA and 28th in wRC+ at 87. Their top bats are all slumping right now. Cincinnati has picked things up at the plate over the last couple weeks, but they have been inconsistent all season.

Pick: Under 9

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