Cincinnati Reds (50-70; 65-60-5 O/U) vs. Chicago Cubs (62-56; 54-58-6 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 2:20pm EST
Line: Chicago Cubs -228/Cincinnati +210
Total: Cubs -220/Cincinnati +200
The Chicago Cubs will host the Cincinnati Reds as the clubs conclude a four game divisional series Thursday afternoon from Wrigley Field. The Reds will give the call to 34-year old right-hander Scott Feldman, and the Cubs will send 33-year old left-hander Jon Lester to the mound. The Cubs own a lead 7-4 lead in the season series.
Feldman Targets Second Straight Win Against Cubs
Scott Feldman will make his 21st start of the season, looking to return to the win column. Feldman made his return from a stint on the DL in his latest start and allowed three runs in four innings to the Brewers and finished with the no decision. The veteran right-hander is having a mediocre season, posting a 4.43 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP to go with a 7-7 record in 107.2 innings pitched. He allowed five runs in 5.2 innings in his first meeting with the Cubs this season and responded by tossing seven scoreless innings in the second meeting. Alex Avila is 3 for 6 with one homer against Feldman, while Anthony Rizzo is 1 for 5 with two RBI’s, and Kyle Schwarber has also driven in two runs. Zack Cozart is heating up at the plate, crushing four home runs along with seven RBI’s in his last eight games. The career .254 hitter is having a carer-year, currently hitting .313 with 16 home runs and 46 RBI’s. Cozart is is a solid 13 for 40 with five RBI’s against the Cubs this season.
The Reds are currently averaging 4.66 runs per game, ranking them 16th overall, and are hitting .254 as a team. The Cincinnati pitching has been awful, posting a Major League worst 5.28 team ERA.
Lester Seeks First Win of August
Jon Lester will get the nod for the 26th time of the season, targeting his first win of the month. Lester allowed four runs (three earned) in six innings to the Diamondbacks in his previous start and was charged with the loss. The veteran left-hander is having a solid season, posting a 3.99 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP accompanied with an 8-7 record in 146.2 innings of work. He has had some trouble with the Reds this season, conceding eight runs in 11.2 innings, and now features a 4-1 record with a 3.79 ERA in 11 career starts against the division rivals. Joey Votto is 8 for 29 with three RBI’s against Lester, while Adam Duvall is 4 for 21, and Zack Cozart is 5 for 17. Javier Baez is having an outstanding month at the plate, belting five home runs along with 14 RBI’s in his last 13 games. The 24-year old second baseman is having a solid second full season in the Majors, sporting a .269 average with 18 home runs and 54 RBI’s. Baez has been very productive against the Reds this season, going 10 for 33 with nine RBI’s.
The Cubs are currently averaging a solid 4.77 runs per game, ranking them 11th in the Majors, and feature a .248 team batting average. The Chicago pitching is carrying a strong 3.95 team ERA, good for seventh in the Major Leagues.
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- over is 9-1 in the Reds last 10 games overall.
- over is 5-1 in their last 6 games at Wrigley Field.
- over is 4-0 in their last 4 games against a left-handed starter.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- over is 6-1-1 in Lester’s last 8 starts against the Reds.
- over is 4-1-1 in their last 6 games against a right-handed starter.
I am taking the over in this contest. The Cubs have scored seven runs in 9.2 innings against Feldman this season, and he owns a weak 5.13 ERA with a .304 opponent batting average on the road this season, so look for the Cubs bats to do some damage against him and the Reds bullpen. Furthermore, Lester has conceded eight runs in 11.2 innings against the Reds this season, and the over has been a very common trend between these two clubs.