MLB Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions (Wednesday, July 29): Cubs vs. Reds

Credit:

Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Pictured: Sonny Gray

Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Betting Odds

Cubs Odds -105 [Bet Now]
Reds Odds -115 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9 (-121/+100) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 6:40 p.m. ET

Odds as of 12:30 p.m. and via PointsBet. [Bet now at PointsBet and Win $100 if the your team gets at least one hit]


I’m back on Cubs-Reds duty again. Don’t mind me because it won’t bother me much. I’ve been betting the Cubs steadily since the start of the season. But why am I so buoyant on the team that was most famously known as “the lovable losers?”

Well, it’s because of the decision the front office made to bring in their former catcher and World Series winner, David Ross, as their new skipper. The Cubs were ready for a change and I’m sure their former manager, Joe Maddon, was ready to move on as well. Sometimes the voice in the clubhouse gets a little stale which requires ownership to freshen things up a bit.

Ross has been that breath of fresh air and he commands the player’s attention because they know that as a former Cubs player himself, he’s been through everything they could possibly go through during the course of a baseball season.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound in the third game of their four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs have won the first two games in this series and are currently on a three-game winning streak. They’ve outscored the Reds, 16-12, but and have looked shaky in the later innings when trying to close the game out.

The Cubs lost the season series vs. the Reds last year, finishing just 8-11.

Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati ace, Sonny Gray, gets the call on Wednesday as he looks stop the bleeding and halt the Reds four-game slide. Cincinnati has yet to record a win since Gray was on the mound for opening day.

Gray can draw some confidence from his 2019 campaign against the Cubs that saw him compile a 3-1 record with a 2.70 ERA over five starts. He was even better at home, with a 2-0 record and 2.60 ERA against the division rivals.

Betting Analysis

There are quite a few ways to approach this game. You could make an argument to ride the hot hand in the Cubs or back the Reds off of Gray’s head-to-head success. You could also make the case for a first-five under but what’s really caught this bettor’s attention is the first inning.

First-inning bets on whether either team will score a run have become quite popular of late. I would generally make this type of play when I expect both pitchers to make it out of their half-inning without a blemish on the scoreboard.

Hendricks and Gray are prime candidates for this bet type in that they’re both good pitchers who have success against the team they’re facing, and Hendricks in particular is really difficult to square up because he’s not a hard thrower.

I generally go back to review each pitcher’s last 10 starts to gauge how likely it is they would surrender a first-inning run. In his last ten starts, Gray has given up a first-inning run on only one occasion. As for Hendricks, he hasn’t given up a first-inning run in his last five games, and only twice in his last ten games. One of those came against the Reds, and he’ll likely have that fresh in his mind and will look to make some adjustments.

This still warrants a play, even if it’s a halfunit, and we can be done with our wager after the first inning.

At PointsBet, you can simply take the under 0.5 runs in the first inning option at +100 odds. With no juice, this number seems a little too short given the quality of the pitchers on the mound.

The pick: First inning under 0.5 runs +100 (up to -120)

[Bet now at PointsBet and Win $100 if the your team gets at least one hit]

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