Reds vs Cubs Odds & Prediction: Betting Value on Monday’s Over/Under
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Stroman
Reds vs Cubs Odds
-104 / -118
-104 / -118
The Chicago Cubs sit four games back of the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central race, and starting tonight at Wrigley they have eight head-to-head matchups left to try and narrow the gap.
They are priced as slight favorites Monday in a potential pitchers' duel pitting Marcus Stroman (3.51 ERA, 125 and 2/3 IP) against rookie southpaw Andrew Abbott (1.90 ERA, 61 and 2/3 IP).
Abbott's stellar ERA would hold a ton of value against any competition, but the spots in which he has come up with dominant performances have made it all the more crucial for the upstart young Reds. He has greatly helped the Reds' cause in the division race with three excellent performances versus the Brewers in four opportunities, and he gets a similar spot to come up clutch tonight.
Abbott has run with some great luck to be sure. He has stranded 96.2% of runners and allowed a BABIP of just .222 overall. Both of those marks will regress, and at that point he will not hold the best ERA in the league among starters who have thrown over 41 innings, as he does currently.
Abbott's stuff rates modestly, but quality command and pitch sequencing have helped to cover that up. He owns a Stuff+ rating of just 86 and batters have managed to make hard contact 42.1% of the time. He owns an xSLG of .379 and an xFIP of 4.29.
Abbott will continue to be a better-than-average starter and offers much to get excited about for Reds fans, but as you would expect for a rookie owning the best ERA in the league, some regression is on the horizon.
Hidden by their quality results is the fact that over the last 30 days the Reds own the 22nd worst wRC+ rating in the league at 92. They have hit to a wRC+ of 96 versus right-handed pitching.
Marcus Stroman has been obliterated in 22 2/3 July innings, allowing an ERA of 7.99 and a WHIP of 1.73.
While that kind of horrible run is alarming, Stroman's recent velocities have remained consistent with the rest of the season. His xFIP have not risen drastically, and his hard-hit rate has not spiked significantly either.
Stroman owns an xERA of 3.97 on the season with an xFIP of 3.77. In each of his last four seasons, Stroman has overachieved his xERA, and his elite ability to generate ground balls may be underrated yet again. Opposition batters' ground-ball rate of 58% is the second-highest among qualified starters.
Over the last 30 days, Chicago's relievers own a 12th-best xFIP of 4.18 and an ERA of 4.05.
Chicago has hit to a wRC+ of 109 over the last 30 days and owns a wRC+ of 104 versus left-handed pitchers.
Reds vs Cubs Betting Pick
While both of these starters are entering this matchup overrated in terms of their season-long ERA, they still look to be getting too little credit with this 8-run total in pitcher-friendly conditions at Wrigley.
Stroman's nightmare stretch has come without any massive red flags. Seeing him bounce back toward better than average results moving forward seems likely, and Cincinnati does project as a middle-of-the-pack offense versus RHP from here on out.
Abbott has had some good luck to be sure, but he has also legitimately been quite good and does clearly enjoy the big moments.
Betting the under 8 at anything better than -110 holds value in what could be a closely contested pitchers duel.