Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#951 Cincinnati Reds 8.5 vs.
#952 Chicago Cubs -175
Friday, May 24, 2019 at 2:20pm EDT
Written by Adam Rauzino

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The Chicago Cubs will host the Cincinnati Reds in the first of a three-game series Friday afternoon from Wrigley Field. The Reds will send 29-year old right-hander Anthony DeSclafani to the mound, and the Cubs will hand the ball to 29-year old right-hander Kyle Hendricks. The Reds won two of three against the Cubs in Cincinnati last week.

DeSclafani Serves Up 3 Homers in Defeat to Dodgers

Anthony DeSclafani will make his 10th start of the season, aiming for win number three. DeSclafani’s issues resumed in his previous outing, conceding four runs including three homers in four innings against the Dodgers, leading to the loss to even his record at 2-2. The four-year veteran right-hander isn’t pitching well, allowing four runs in back-to-back starts, and he enters this one with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 45 innings of work. He has been very competitive against the Cubs in his career, recording a 3-3 record and a solid 3.86 ERA in nine career starts. Javier Baez is 2 for 5 against DeSclafani, while Anthony Rizzo is 4 for 24, and Kyle Schwarber is 2 for 10.

Eugenio Suarez has made his presence felt against the Cubs this season, recording 5 hits in 12 at-bats with five RBI’s. The 27-year old third baseman continues to produce, driving in five runs in his last seven games, and he is hitting .254 with 13 homers and 31 RBI’s on the season. Suarez owns a .286 batting average on the month. The Reds continue to play without Scooter Gennett.

The Reds are currently averaging 4.10 runs per game, placing them down at 22nd overall. The Cincinnati pitching staff continues to excel, sporting a 3.50 team ERA, good for third in the big leagues. The Reds hold a 10-16 road record on the season.

Hendricks Seeks Third Straight Victory

The Cubs will have Kyle Hendricks on the mound for the 10th time of the year in this contest. Hendricks wasn’t quite at his best in his latest outing, however, he came away with the win after allowing four runs in 5.2 innings against the Nationals. The sixth-year right-hander is having a dominant month of May where he features a 1.47 ERA, and he stands at 4-4 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 56 innings logged on the season. Hendricks recently faced the Reds and he tossed eight innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 win, and he holds a 6-2 record with a sharp 3.23 ERA in 14 career starts against the division rivals. Yaisiel Puig is 2 for 9 against Hendricks, while Joey Votto is 9 for 21, and Eugenio Suarez is 6 for 29.

Kris Bryant has enjoyed success against Reds’ starter Anthony DeSclafani in his career, collecting 5 hits in 15 at-bats with two RBI’s. The 27-year old star third baseman had a three home run game last week, and he has belted eight jacks on the month. Bryant owns .280 average with 11 homers and 32 RBI’s on the season, and he is 4 for 13 with zero RBI’s against the Reds this year.

The Cubs are scoring an average of 5.33 runs, good for fourth in the Major Leagues. The Chicago pitching staff is carrying a strong 3.51 team ERA, placing them fifth in the Majors. The Cubs feature a 17-8 record at Wrigley Field.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Rating:

I expect a convincing Cubs win and I am selecting them on the run line (-1.5) as a result. The Cubs continue to dominate at Wrigley Field, winning 17 of their 25 home games on the season, and this pitching matchup plays heavily into their favor. Reds’ starter Anthony DeSclafani is scuffling, allowing a combined eight runs including four home runs in his last two starts, and he lasted only four innings in each start.

Furthermore, Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks just fired eight innings of one-run ball against the Reds on May 14th, and he is locked in, sporting a dazzling 1.47 ERA in his last four starts.

Prediction: Chicago Cubs -1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Rating:

The under is worth a look in this one. The Cubs limited the Reds to only 11 runs in three games last week, and they should neutralize their bats again with Hendricks on the hill. Hendricks features a stunning 0.62 ERA in his four home starts, and the Reds bats have cooled off recently.

In addition, while I expect some offense from the Cubs, if DeSclafani falters early, the Reds feature a strong bullpen that stands fourth in the Majors with a 3.56 ERA. Also, Chicago was held to only 10 runs in three games against the Reds last week, and the under is 5-0 in DeSclafani’s last 5 starts against the Cubs. The under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings between these two division rivals, and I expect that trend to continue in this one.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The Cubs should have a strong night at the plate. The Cubs enter this series with momentum after accumulating a combined 15 runs in their last two games against a strong Phillies team. Chicago is averaging 5.4 runs in their last ten games. Rizzo has eight RBI’s in his last five games, and Baez has driven in four runs in his last six games.

Prediction: Cubs Team Total Over 4.5

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Rating:

I am taking the over on the Cubs five-inning team total offered through PointsBet. I expect the Cubs to do a majority of their damage in the first five innings before a strong Reds bullpen makes their presence felt. Anthony DeSclafani owns a poor 5.03 ERA on the month, and several of the Cubs hitters including Bryant, Contreras, Hayward, and Schwarber are all hitting at least .280 against the right-hander.

Prediction: Cubs 5 Inning Team Total Over 2.5

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 about various sports as well as personal finance. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.