- 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.
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.
Yu Darvish is 5-0 with a 1.09 ERA in his last five [email protected] pic.twitter.com/MlGARP5CHp
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 23, 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
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.
Trevor Bauer’s 2,767 rpm average on his 4-seam fastball is the highest in all of Major League Baseball.
Teammate Lucas Sims is a mere 3 rpm behind at 2,764. The third-highest 4-seam spin rate is 2,682. pic.twitter.com/xkRMBOhoYN
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 24, 2020
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.
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
|Albert Amora Jr.||6||0||0||.500|
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.
16 Days — August 9, 2019
In his first home start as a Red, @BauerOutage strikes out 11 Cubs in a dominant 7 innings of work. pic.twitter.com/edTOwyOjJK
— Cincy Sports TV (@CincySportsTV) March 10, 2020
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)