Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Updated Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Sunday, August 30)

Credit:

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Chatwood.

  • Check out our betting preview for Sunday's MLB matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.
  • Chicago and Cincinnati split their Saturday double-header, and the Cubs are looking to rebound following Craig Kimbrel's blown save in Game 2.
  • 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 +133 [Bet Now]
Reds Odds -157 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9 (-108/-112) [Bet Now]
First Pitch Sunday, 1:10 p.m. ET

Odds updated as of Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


After another Kimbrel blown save, the Cubs will look to rebound and avoid a series loss to the Reds on Sunday. The Cubs will send Tyler Chatwood to the mound in hopes he can out-duel Cincinnati’s young ace Luis Castillo.


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 .322 wOBA and 101 wRC+. They’ve done most of their damage against right-handed pitching: Chicago reports a .334 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 12 home runs and 28 RBIs this season.

Cubs Projected Starter

Tyler Chatwood

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Chatwood has been really unlucky through his first 16.1 innings of 2020. He has a 6.06 ERA — but a 3.66 xFIP — so, he’s due for some positive regression at some point this season.

Tyler Chatwood’s main pitch is his sinker, which produced a 51.5% ground ball rate in 2019. However, it has not been particularly successful at generating strikeouts: Chatwood’s sinker produced a low 14.7% whiff rate last season.

Chatwood has been utilizing his cutter a lot more in 2020 and for good reason: It’s his best pitch. Last season, hitters only managed a .097 batting average off of his cutter, which produced a 46.6% whiff rate. Nearly halfway through this season, Chatwood’s cutter is allowing a .200 average to opposing batters and generating a 47.3% whiff rate.

The Reds have really struggled against cutters this season, so look for Chatwood to utilize his cutter a lot on Sunday.

Reds Projected Lineup

Cincinnati has been average offensively so far, ranking 17th in MLB with a .318 wOBA and 96 wRC+. Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos have carried the Reds offense, combining for 19 home runs and 38 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 I expect Chatwood to go to his cutter and slider often on Sunday.

Reds Probable Starter

Luis Castillo, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

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Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Luis Castillo is on his way to becoming one of the best young pitchers in the game. He has an electric fastball that tops out at 100 mph, but it’s been touched up a bit this season. He’s allowed a .300 batting average to opponents, along with a .371 wOBA. For such a low xFIP to start the season (3.12), his WHIP is really high at 1.52. He’ll need to bring that number down if he wants to remain effective throughout the season.

Castillo really excels with his slider, which has allowed a .111 average and produced a 32.4% whiff rate. As you can see below, it has some sick drop to it.

The Cubs have hit most pitches well this season, except for sliders: Chicago reports -16 weighted slider runs in 2020. So, I expect Castillo to utilize his slider a lot on Sunday.

Bullpens

Neither bullpen has been great this season. Each pen reports an ERA over 5.00, which ranks near the bottom of MLB. Both bullpens should have everyone available after Darvish and Bauer put on a show in Game 1 of yesterday’s double-header.

Projections

I don’t see any value on either side or the total based on my projections. Ideally, I would jump in on the Cubs at +142 or better. Conversely, if I could find the Reds at -114 or better, I would pivot to their side.

Nonetheless, bettors in Illinois could take advantage of DraftKings’ promotion below and bet the Cubs at +146, which would be a +EV bet based on my projections.

If the odds on either team or the total shifts, you can follow me on The Action Network App to see if I end up making a play on this game.

[Bet the Chicago Cubs at +146 with a 10% profit boost at DraftKings (now online in Illinois!)]

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