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The Chicago Cubs travel to Cincinnati Wednesday to face the Reds in the second game of a three-game set. The Cubs are rolling along at 24-14 and in first place in the NL Central. The Reds are 17-23 and in last place in the division. The Cubs will start right-hander Yu Darvish (2-3) while the Reds go with right-hander Sonny Gray (0-4). Game time is 6:40 p.m. ET at Great American Park in Cincinnati.
Cubs remain red hot
The Chicago Cubs are the hottest team in baseball. After getting of to a sluggish start. They have won 11 of their last 13 games and now own the best record in the National League at 24-14. They hold a 2.5 game lead in the division over Milwaukee and are 7.5 games up on last place Cincinnati. Coming into this series with the Reds, they won 2 of 3 against the second place Brewers. Jon Lester was once again brilliant in getting the win. He allowed just 1 run in 6.2 innings for the win to improve to 3-1. He lowered his ERA to a league-best 1.16. “Same mindset. I mean, every time my day comes, I want to finish the game,” Lester said. Kris Bryant went 3 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBIs. Javy Baez went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
By the way, Jon Lester's ERA is down to 1.16 on the season pic.twitter.com/yzQtK0v7Lp
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) May 13, 2019
The Cubs average 5.4 runs per game, which is 3rd in the league. As a team, they are batting .254, which is 9th in the league, and they have a slugging percentage of .450, which is 6th in the MLB. Baez has been the Cubs best hitter this year, batting .323 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs. Wilson Contreras is batting .304 with 10 HRs and 24 RBIs, while Bryant is hitting .256 with 8 HRs and 26 RBIs. Also, Jason Heyward is hitting .258 with 6 HRs and 18 RBIs.
Reds take 2 of 3 from Giants
The Cincinnati Reds took 2 out of 3 in their recent series with the San Francisco to improve to 17-23. Yet, they remain in last place in the NL Central, 7.5 games behind the Cubs. This series against the division-leading Cubs is a big opportunity for the Reds to climb out of the basement. They are coming off a 6-5 loss to the Giants in the series finale Sunday. Tyler Mahle gave up 4 runs in 6.2 innings pitched. The Reds took a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the 8th but reliever David Hernandez (0-2) gave up 2 runs and suffered the loss. Jose Iglesias went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs to lead Cincinnati. Eugenio Suarez and Jose Peraza had 2 hits each, while Yasiel Puig had a home run and an RBI.
The Reds have struggled offensively this year. They average 4.1 runs per game, which is 22nd in the MLB. They have a team batting average of .216, which is dead last in the MLB. Their slugging percentage is .392, which is 23rd in baseball. Eugenio Suarez has been the Reds most consistent hitter, batting .259 with 12 HRs and 26 RBIs. Jose Iglesias has also been solid, hitting .288 with 2 HRs and 13 RBIs, while Derek Dietrich is hitting .241 with 10 HRs and 25 RBIs.
Their pitching, on the other hand, has been great. The Reds have a team ERA of 3.36, which is 2nd in the MLB. They have a team WHIP of 1.22 which is 5th in the league. Sonny Gray gets the start for the Reds. The right-hander is still looking for his first win. He is 0-4 with an ERA of 4.15.
- The Reds are 4-1 last 5 at home against Cubs.
- The Reds are 3-1 this season at home when the total is 9 to 9.5
- Cubs are 1-4 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Reds in this match up. Cincinnati will steal one here from the Cubs. Yes, the Cubs are playing better than everyone else in baseball right now, but the Reds, despite their struggles, have strong pitching.Sonny Gray is winless, but he has had some tough luck with lack of run support. But in the last few games, the Reds have started hitting, averaging about 5 runs per game in recent games. Darvish has been very shaky this year so it’s a great opportunity for the Reds to win one against the Cubs. Also, the Cubs are 0-4 in the last 4 meetings in Cincinnati.
Prediction: Cincinnati -110
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the over. The Reds are consistently in the over, but their bats have started to wake up in recent weeks and they should put up some runs against Darvish, who has an ERA over 5. And just look at the numbers. The over is 5-2 in Reds last 7 home games versus a right-handed starter. Also, the over is 21-8 in Cubs last 29 road games and 10-4 in their last 14 road games against a team with a losing record.