Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Updated Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Saturday, August 29)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): Yu Darvish and Trevor Bauer.
- Check out our betting preview for Saturday's MLB matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds
- Yu Darvish and Trevor Bauer face off in a classic pitchers' duel with a below-average game total set at 6 runs.
- Read on for Brad Cunningham's full game breakdown, including updated odds, picks and predictions for today's NL Central matchup.
Cubs vs. Reds Odds
|Cubs Odds||-104 [Bet Now]|
|Reds Odds||-112 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||6 (-105/-117) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||Saturday, 4:10 p.m. ET|
We have a heavyweight pitching matchup in the NL Central on Satruday afternoon and Yu Darvish and the Cubs take on Trevor Bauer and the Reds. This is without a doubt the best game on the slate for Saturday, so lets breakdown the matchup.
Check out our free MLB odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.
Cubs Projected Lineup
The Cubs have been above-average offensively, ranking 11th in MLB with a .323 wOBA and 102 wRC+. They’ve done most of their damage against right-handed pitching: Chicago reports a .335 wOBA versus righties compared to only a .298 wOBA against left-handed pitching.
Anthony Rizzo and Ian Happ have been carrying Chicago offensively; the duo has combined for 11 home runs and 27 RBIs this season. The Cubs have been successful versus fastballs and cutters this year — which are Bauer’s two primary pitches.
Cubs Probable Starter
Yu Darvish, RHP
Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
I’m really happy that Darvish is finally getting the recognition that he deserves, because he has some of the best stuff in the game. Darvish has a ton of different pitches, but he mainly uses his cutter, which has been really effective this season. His cutter has allowed a .230 batting average and has produced a 36.8% whiff rate in 2020.
Darvish’s cutter has been excellent, but he’s really been excelling with his fastball and slider. He’s allowed only five hits on 164 fastballs or sliders and is producing over a 40% whiff rate on those two pitches. Darvish put on a show with his slider in his last outing, as it was literally untouchable.
Yu Darvish, Ridiculous 85mph Slider. 😳 pic.twitter.com/nsfnhoAm23
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 23, 2020
The Reds have struggled mightily against both cutters and sliders, so Darvish has a fantastic matchup on Saturday.
Reds Projected Lineup
Cincinnati has been average offensively so far, ranking 19th in MLB in terms of wOBA (.316) and wRC+ (94). Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos have carried the Reds offense, combining for 18 home runs and 37 RBIs. Winker and Castellanos and are the only two players in Reds lineup with a wOBA over .350.
Cincinnati has primarily been feasting on fastballs and sinkers, so look for Darvish to go to his cutter and slider often on Saturday.
Reds Probable Starter
Trevor Bauer, RHP
Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)
Pitch Arsneal (via Baseball Savant)
Trevor Bauer has been successful this season, because he’s been on-point with his three main pitches: fastball, cutter and slider. Opposing hitters have managed a measly .088 against those three pitches. However, Bauer has struggled somewhat with his curveball: Seven of the 15 hits he’s allowed so far have come off of that pitch.
The Cubs have been really successful against fastballs and cutters this season. In fact, they’ve been the best team in MLB against cutters, with 5.3 weighted cutter runs. So, expect Bauer to go to his slider and curveball more often than usual on Saturday.
Neither bullpen has been great this season. Each pen reports an ERA over 5.00, which ranks near the bottom of MLB. With both bullpens getting the day off on Thursday, everyone should be available on Saturday.
Projections and Pick
Odds for this game posted around 10:00 a.m. ET on Saturday morning. Prior to lines being released, I was looking to jump on the Cubs at +117 or better; and conversely, I would bet on the Reds at +106 or better.
Unfortunately, Chicago opened at -106 and Cincinnati opened at -110 at DraftKings, neither of which offers much value. Nonetheless, bettors in Illinois could take advantage of DraftKings’ promotion below and bet the Cubs at +104.
For now, I’ll hold off, but you can follow me on The Action Network App to see if I end up making a play on the moneyline or total later this afternoon.