Cubs vs Reds Picks and Odds – Aug. 29

Cincinatti Reds

Reds first baseman Joey Votto is batting .250 with one home run in 20 at-bats against Chicago’s Yu Darvish. Photo by Ian D’Andrea (Flickr).
  • Momentum is on Cincinnati’s side as the Reds meet first-place Chicago on Saturday at 4:10 pm EST
  • The Reds have won three in a row, including Friday’s 6-5 victory over the Cubs, and are now just four games back of the division leaders
  • Read on for betting odds, analysis and a best bet for this NL Central matchup

Surprisingly, for a team that spent $166-million overhauling its roster in hopes of becoming a World Series contender, the Cincinnati Reds’ season-long win streak is just three games. For just the second time this season, the team has strung together a win streak of that length following Friday’s 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs, and at 4:10 pm EST on Saturday, it has the chance to establish a new season high.

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Of course, as the National League Central leaders, the Cubs are not just about to roll over, and while the presence of Cy Young candidate Trevor Bauer gives Cincinnati a strong chance to win, Chicago responds with Yu Darvish, who is no slouch himself. Such a high-caliber pitching matchup is always hard to predict, with Chicago the slight favorite so far in the Cubs vs Reds odds.

Cubs vs Reds Odds

Team Runline Moneyline Total Runs At BetMGM
Chicago Cubs -1.5 (+185) -106 O 5.5 (-118)
Cincinnati Reds +1.5 (-220) -110 U 5.5 (-104)

Odds taken Aug. 29

Darvish Dialled In

With a 5-1 start to this truncated season, Darvish is just one win away from matching his win total from 2019. The 34-year-old has been pitching like a man possessed, with a 1.70 earned-run average and 44 strikeouts in his six starts so far.

In his last start, Darvish gave up just one earned run and six hits, while striking out 10 across seven innings of a 2-1 win over the crosstown rival White Sox. In fact, the Japanese righty hasn’t given up more than one run since the season opener, when he surrendered three in his only loss of 2020.

Success against the Reds hasn’t always been easy to come by though. Darvish is just 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA in his last five starts against Cincinnati, though he is 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA in eight career starts against them. And he is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts at Cincy’s Great American Ballpark.

Reds Career Stats vs Darvish

Player AB HR RBI AVG.
Tucker Barnhart 12 1 2 .333
Curt Casali 2 0 0 .000
Nick Castellanos 3 0 0 .000
Freddy Galvis 6 0 1 .167
Mike Moustakas 9 1 2 .333
Eugenio Suarez 20 1 4 .250
Joey Votto 20 1 2 .250
Jesse Winker 8 0 0 .000

Bauer Bringing It In 2020

With the fourth-lowest ERA among qualified starters in Major League Baseball, the Reds right-hander is having himself quite a year. It’s a marked departure from 2019, when he went a combined 11-13 with a 4.48 ERA in 34 combined starts between Cincinnati and Cleveland.

With a MLB-leading two complete games already, Bauer has shown himself to be very much the workhorse of the Reds pitching rotation, even if he is locked into a battle with Sonny Gray to establish himself as the team’s true ace.

2020 World Series Odds Tracker

However, his last time out – a 4-2 loss against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday – he took a step back, giving up seven hits, which was almost as many as he had allowed in his previous four starts.

Cubs Career Stats vs Bauer

Player AB HR RBI AVG.
Albert Amora Jr. 6 0 0 .500
Javier Baez 10 0 0 .300
Victor Caratini 4 0 0 .000
Willson Contreras 6 0 1 .167
Ian Happ 5 0 0 .000
Jason Heyward 8 0 0 .000
Josh Phegley 7 0 1 .000
Anthony Rizzo 10 0 1 .400
Kyle Schwarber 7 0 0 .143

Owning The Cubs … In The Regular Season

If there’s one team that Bauer enjoys facing though, it’s the Chicago Cubs. He is 4-0 against them in four career regular-season starts, with a microscopic 0.68 ERA in 26.2 innings pitched against them. Of course, he famously gave up a huge home run to Kris Bryant in Game 5 of the 2016 World Series, sparking Chicago’s comeback from a 3-1 series deficit. He went 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 8.1 innings against them that year as Cleveland lost the World Series in seven games.

In his last outing against them, on August 9th last year, he gave up just one earned run across seven innings in a 5-2 Reds victory. Over the last couple years, the games have been very evenly split between the two teams, however, with Cincinnati holding a 6-4 edge in their last 10 head-to-head contests.

The Reds went 11-8 against Chicago last year, and the two teams have so far split the first four games played against each other in 2020, with Cincinnati take the last two.

Pick: Reds (-110), Under 5.5 (-104)

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