Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#903 Chicago Cubs 9.5 vs.
#904 Cincinnati Reds -130
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 6:40pm EDT
Written by Adam Rauzino

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The Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds will continue a three-game NL Central series Wednesday night from the Great American Ball Park. The Cubs will send 32-year old right-hander Yu Darvish to the hill, and the Reds will give the call to 29-year old right-hander Sonny Gray. The Cubs went 11-8 against the Reds last season, and the Cubs won the series opener by a 3-1 score on Tuesday night.

Darvish Continues to Struggle with Control

The Cubs will have Yu Darvish on the hill for the ninth time of the year. Darvish worked out of trouble in his latest outing, issuing six walks to a weak Marlins lineup, although he limited them to just one run in four innings. The seventh-year right-hander is having big issues with his command this season, walking a total of 33 batters, and he enters this one with a weak 5.40 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP to go with a 2-3 record in 36.2 innings of work. He has shut down the Reds bats in his three career meetings, holding them to six runs (four earned) in 18.2 innings. Joey Votto is 2 for 7 against Darvish, while Eugenio Suarez is 0 for 4, and Derek Dietrich is 2 for 4.

Watch for Javier Baez in this series as he usually feasts on the Reds’ pitching. The 26-year old slugger registered a .362 average with four homers and 15 RBI’s in 69 at-bats against the Reds last season. Baez is having another strong year, hitting .323 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI’s on the season. Baez features a remarkable 1.075 OPS and seven RBI’s on the month. Anthony Rizzo sat out on Tuesday with a sore back, and he is questionable for this one.

The Cubs stand third in the Major Leagues with an average of 5.42 runs per game. The Chicago pitching staff holds a stellar 3.44 team ERA, good for third in all of baseball. The Cubs own a 9-8 road record entering Tuesday’s action.

Gray Still Searching for Elusive First Win of Season

Sonny Gray will be on the mound for the ninth time of the year in this one. Gray didn’t have his best stuff in his latest start, conceding four runs (three earned) in 4.1 innings against the Athletics, resulting in a no-decision in a 5-4 Reds loss. The veteran right-hander is pitching reasonably well, however, he is not pitching deep into games, and he owns an 0-4 record and a 4.15 ERA to go with a strong 1.21 WHIP in 39 innings of work on the season. Gray held the Cubs to only two runs in five innings in his lone career meeting back in the 2016 season.

Eugenio Suarez continues to establish himself as the Reds’ most dangerous hitter, crushing another five home runs along with 10 RBI’s in his last nine games, and he is hitting .319 this month. The 27-year old third baseman owns a .259 average with 12 homers and 26 RBI’s on the season. Suarez recorded four homers and 12 RBI’s in 63 at-bats against the Cubs last season.

The Reds are swinging the bats well, and they stand 22nd overall with an average of 4.17 runs per game on the season. The Cincinnati pitching staff has been a surprise, recording a 3.36 team ERA, placing them second in all of baseball. The Reds are 9-8 on their home field entering Tuesday.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am siding with the Reds in this matchup. The Reds are playing well, winning three out of their last four games entering Tuesday’s action. They are consistently generating offense and they will be up against a struggling Yu Darvish in this one. Darvish has issued 15 walks in his last three starts spread across 14 innings, and this Reds team should be able to take advantage considering they are in a groove at the plate right now.

Furthermore, Reds’ starter Sonny Gray is catching the Cubs at the right time as the Cubs have plated four or fewer runs in five consecutive games entering Tuesday.

Prediction: Cincinnati Reds

Full-Game Total Pick

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I expect a high-scoring clash in this one. Yu Darvish isn’t pitching with any confidence right now, and his control issues could really hurt him in this one against a Reds team that has bashed 59 homers on the season. Also, the over is 4-0 in the Reds’ last four home games.

In addition, while I expect Gray to contain the Cubs bats, Chicago usually generates significant offense against the Reds. They averaged 4.8 runs against the Reds in 2018, and Gray has not been pitching deep into games. The over is 15-5 in the Cubs’ last 20 road games against a right-handed starter, and I expect that trend to resume in this one.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The over on the Reds team total is worth a look. The Reds have several players in a groove at the dish which includes Eugenio Suarez who has 10 RBI’s in his last 10 games, and Yasiel Puig has driven in five runs in his last four games. Cincinnati is averaging a stellar 5.1 runs in their last ten games, and I expect plenty of offense in this one against a struggling Darvish.

Prediction: Reds Team Total Over

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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I am taking the Reds to score first in this one. The Reds are productive in the first frame where they have plated 30 runs in 42 games. Also, opponents own a .991 OPS against Darvish in the first inning this season, and he has issued seven walks and three home runs in his eight innings pitched in the first inning.

Prediction: Reds to Score First
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.