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The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds will wrap up their series here. The Cubs have been hot recently, while the Reds have been up and down. Jose Quintana will be on the mound for the Cubs, with Luis Castillo getting the start for Cincinnati. Due to the strength of Castillo, oddsmakers have the Reds as slight favorites here.
The Chicago Cubs may look like they’re back, but I’m not completely sold. After a slow start to the season, which induced a lot of panic, they’ve been coming on strong lately, winning 13 of their last 15 games entering Wednesday.
However, it feels kind of phony. Most of the wins were at home, and they’re coming off a ten-game home stand to enter this series. It’s not like they’ve been explosive offensively or anything, as they’ve failed to top five runs in any of their last eight games. They’ve been winning a bunch of games by close margins, which won’t be sustainable. Oddsmakers are now overvaluing them because of their record the past couple of weeks, when it’s bound to come crashing down soon. As they look to keep it going for now, they’ll have Jose Quintana on the mound here.
Quintana has been good but not great this year, and he’s looked a little shaky recently, giving up at least three runs in two of his last three starts. He’s struggled with his control a bit in his last couple of starts, and I think this Reds lineup will be able to get to him. The Cubs’ own lineup hasn’t been particularly impressive even during their winning streak, and with the way Castillo has been pitching, I’d be very wary of backing them on the road here.
Reds Will Shock You
If you’ve been reading my picks lately, you’d know I’m a lot higher on this Reds team than most people are. They’ve been getting absurdly unlucky, and are way better than their record indicates. They have one of the league’s better run differentials, but somehow entered Wednesday six games under .500.
There’s no way that will last, and you should grab the value while you still can. The Reds have been up and down lately, and they’ll have young ace Luis Castillo on the mound here as they hunt for a win. Castillo was dominant down the stretch last season, so it’s not surprising that he’s breaking out now in his third year in the bigs. Through nine starts Castillo has a 1.76 ERA and a sub 1.00 WHIP. He’s only had one start where he wasn’t excellent, when he gave up four runs a couple of weeks ago, and even then he only gave up four hits. In six of his nine starts, Castillo has given up one or zero runs, and he’s only given up more than two runs in a start once since August of last year. He’s been incredibly consistent and untouchable for the most part. Unsurprisingly, the Reds are 12-5 in Castillo’s last 17 home starts.
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) May 12, 2019
Their lineup is also finally starting to live up to some of their potential, as guys like Joey Votto and Yasiel Puig are starting to wake up out of their season-long slumps, as both players have homered in the past few games. I’m optimistic about this Reds team moving forward, and you should be too…
- 12-5 in Castillo’s last 17 home starts
- 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a left-handed starter
- 4-1 in their last 5 Thursday games
- 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Cincinnati
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cubs are being overvalued because of their recent phony win streak, while the Reds are being undervalued because of poor luck, creating a perfect storm here. Castillo has been one of the best pitchers in baseball, and the Reds kick it into a new gear when he’s pitching. With Castillo on the mound, you simply can’t fade the Reds right now.
Prediction: Reds -125
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the under a lot here. Castillo has been remarkably consistent, allowing more than two runs in a start just one time since August of last year. You know what you’re going to get from him, and he should shutdown the Cubs here. The under is an astounding 12-2 in Castillo’s last 14 starts, and it’s 6-0 in Chicago’s last six games overall. This one should be pretty low scoring.