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Reds vs Cubs Picks, Odds & Player Props to Target (May 26)

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in MLB Baseball

Updated Jun 1, 2023 · 1:13 PM PDT

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele mid-pitch
Apr 30, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele (35) throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
  • Chicago is a -155 moneyline favorite in the Reds vs Cubs odds on Friday
  • The Cubs Justin Steele is 6-1, with a 2.20 ERA and 1.01 WHIP
  • Check out the Reds vs Cubs picks, odds, and player prop targets below

NL Central rivals clash on Friday afternoon, as the Cubs (22-26, 13-11 home) host the Reds (21-29, 7-15 away) in the series opener of a three-game set.

Chicago will give the ball to NL CY Young odds candidate Justin Steele, and online sportsbooks are expecting him to strengthen his case as one of the league’s top starters. They’ve opened Chicago as home favorites in the MLB odds, as Steele looks for his seventh win in his 11th start.

Reds vs Cubs Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Total
Cincinnati Reds +135 OFF OFF
Chicago Cubs -155 OFF OFF

The Cubs are currently -155 moneyline favorites, in a contest without a total as of Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 2:20 pm ET at historic Wrigley Field, in Chicago, IL, with sunshine and 64 degree temperatures on deck.

 

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Cincinnati vs Chicago Probable Pitchers

Steele bounced back last time out from his first poor start of the season, shutting out the high powered Phillies over 6 innings. The 27-year-old scattered four hits and walked one, while striking out six. His previous start against Houston was the lone outing where he’s yielded more than three runs, but he still managed to whiff eight Astros over 6 innings.

Steele enters play on Friday yielding a .212 opponent batting average and a tiny .586 opponent slugging percentage. He’s performed even better at home, holding enemy hitters to only five runs in 30.1 innings, while posting wins in four of five starts.

That spells trouble for Cincinnati’s regulars in the MLB starting lineups, who are fresh off producing just a single run and seven hits in a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday.

Greene vs Steele Stats

Hunter Greene
VS
Justin Steele
0-4 Record 6-1
4.68 ERA 2.20
1.50 WHIP 1.01
.274 OBA .212
3.5 SO/W Ratio 3.3

The Reds meanwhile, will counter with sophomore Hunter Greene. The 23-year-old has struggled with his control this season, and that was again the case in his previous start. Greene walked three batters and gave up two homers to the Yankees in a 4-1 defeat. On the bright side, he pitched a season-best 7 innings, whiffing 10 batters for the second time this year.

Greene’s strikeout rate is truly elite, which helps cover up the fact that he struggles to keep the ball in the yard. Over 175 career innings he’s coughed up 32 home runs, while walking 68 batters.

He’s made three career starts versus the Cubs, and has had no problem whiffing Chicago hitters. He’s racked up 19 strikeouts over 15 innings, but the Cubs have still managed to produce eight runs.

Reds vs Cubs Predictions

Chicago’s lineup this year is striking out at MLB’s 10th highest rate, and have been especially prone to k’s versus right-handed pitching. They’re striking out at a 26.2% clip against righties, and are averaging 11 strikeouts per game over the last week.

Nevertheless, the punch outs haven’t stopped them from finding a way to cross the plate. Chicago is averaging five runs per game over their last five outings, and scored 18 times total in their previous two meetings with the Reds. Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ have combined for eight hits in 19 at-bats versus Cincinnati pitching this season, and Happ in particular is worth a look in the player props market.

The 28-year-old is crushing right-handed pitching this season. He’s slashing .328/.450/.508 versus righties so far, which is almost double the production he’s managed versus lefties.

Reds vs Cubs 2023 H2H Results

Date Away Team Home Team Result
April 4 Cubs Reds CHC, 12-5
April 3 Cubs Reds CIN, 7-6

As for the Reds lineup, they’re a bottom-four slugging team in MLB, and a bottom-11 unit in OPS. They did come alive briefly this week with 21 runs in a three-game stretch, but their play away from home has been uninspiring. Cincinnati has won just seven times in 22 road tilts, while averaging 3.8 runs per contest.

That’s a full run less than they average in their own stadium, while their slugging and OPS numbers dip .32 and .41 points respectively as visitors. That’s a recipe for disaster against an elite starter like Steele, who should have little trouble shutting down a team that features no hitters with a WAR north of 1.2.

Picks:

  • Chicago Cubs Moneyline (-155)
  • Ian Happ Over 0.5 Hits (-125)
  • Hunter Greene Over 7.5 Strikeouts (-140)
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