Cincinnati at Chicago
Recommedation. Cincinnati Series +230
The Chicago Cubs host their division rivals the Cincinnati Reds for a three-game series starting tonight at 5pm PT in Wrigley Field. This matchup pairs the #3 and #4 teams currently in the National League Central standings, however from a betting angle the Cubs and Reds have been on opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of profit/ loss for their backers. A 13 unit separation with the Reds up +4 units YTD, as opposed by the Cubs down near the most in all of baseball at more than -9 units. The three-game series price has the Reds as over +200 underdogs and is worth a second look.
Bookmaker is posting Cinnci at +230 to win 2 of 3 in this series over the defending champs. Tonight’s pitching matchup pins Arroyo vs Lackey. Arroyo gets no respect in the betting markets and some for good reason, although he did get the win three weeks ago recording 7 strikeouts through 6 innings and only giving up 2 runs against the Cubs. He will be opposed by John Lackey who is off a great outing in Coors, but something the stats will not show is that was the second game of a double header a number of Colorado's backups. Lackey is also off back-to-back 100+ pitch outings. In the second game, it will be Feldman vs Hendricks, not a big edge either way (both pitchers with large question marks going forward). Finally, the series final pins the young Dominican Bonilla for the Reds vs either Jon Lester or Eddie Butler for the Cubs. The Cubs will likely be the favorite in the final, but this is a great chance to grab a plus price on Bonilla who has been underappreciated in the betting markets coming off of a 98-pitch complete game gem in San Francisco.
The starting pitching matchups don’t equate to the Cubs attracting a -250+ price. The bullpens have performed at about the same rate YTD, I would favor the Reds pen with a 1.13 WHIP ranking second in MLB. Offensively, we get the hotter bats with the Reds posting a 109 WRc number over the last two weeks up against arguably the coldest lineup in all of baseball right now. The market has not adjusted efficiently enough when pricing the Cubs to date this year. Taking the Reds at +230 to win this three-game set is a great way to take advantage of the mispriced market. I recommend taking a shot with a +230 ticket for this weekday series.