Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds MLB Odds and Pick for May 23rd

The 2022 Major League Baseball season is still young, but it’s safe to assume the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds won’t making much noise this summer. The two teams enter play Monday ranked fourth and fifth in the National League Central, respectively.

The 16-24 Cubs are actually tied with the Pirates in the standings, but Pittsburgh holds the slight edge as of now due to a tiebreaker. The Reds, meanwhile, own the worst record in the entire sport at just 12-28 on the campaign.
Neither of these teams was expected to be much better, of course. The Cubs shipped out all of Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber ahead of last year’s trade deadline, which was a sign that the team was headed for yet another rebuild.

The Reds did the same this past offseason when they traded Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, and Sonny Gray. Nick Castellanos also departed in free agency to sign a $100 million deal with the Phillies.
Bovada oddsmakers give the Cubs the edge in Monday’s series opener. Chicago checks in at -124 to win this one outright on the moneyline. The Reds are +114 moneyline underdogs as the two teams prepare to tangle at Great American Ballpark.

Chicago Cubs

Despite their dismal record, the Cubs actually have a run differential of just minus-2 on the year. The Pirates, for comparison, are at minus-88, while the Reds are a dismal minus-64. The Pirates having the same record as the Cubs seems rather flukey.

Smyly was one of a few veterans the Cubs added over the winter in an attempt to save face. Chicago won’t be making the playoffs any time soon, but they aren’t bottoming out as aggressively as the Reds, Orioles, and a few other teams around the league.

Smyly is only 1-5 through his first seven starts of the year, but he does own a respectable 3.97 ERA.

Smyly has been the losing pitcher in each of his last five outings, but it hasn’t all been his fault. In those five games, the Cubs’ offense has scored two, one, zero, three, and two runs in support. The Cubs scored just two runs in Smyly’s lone victory of the season, as well.
While Smyly’s win/loss record doesn’t do him any justice, he’s still a mediocre lefty with a wide platoon split. He’ll also be taking the mound in the ballpark that allows the most home runs in all of baseball. Home runs have been a bit of an issue for Smyly, as he has allowed six of them through his first seven games.

Cincinnati certainly doesn’t have the most powerful lineup out there, but it’s still hard to imagine Smyly escaping this one without allowing at least a handful of runs to cross the plate.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds got off to an absolutely atrocious 3-22 start, which had many wondering whether this club would challenge the league’s all-time record for fewest wins in a single season. Things have turned around a bit from there, however, as the Reds are a much more respectable 9-6 over their last 15 games.

Given the lack of talent on this roster these days, though, it’s pretty safe to assume the Reds will finish the season at or near the bottom of the Central.

Tonight they’ll turn to Vladimir Gutierrez. The right-hander enjoyed some decent success as a rookie last year, but his second year hasn’t gone nearly as swimmingly. Gutierrez is an abysmal 0-5 through six starts this year with a grotesque 8.65 ERA. His walk rate (14.8 percent) is identical to his strikeout rate, and he has also surrendered six home runs.

Gutierrez has gotten a little unlucky on the BABIP front, as hitters have a very high .333 batting average on batted balls so far this year. Gutierrez’s 5.81 SIERA shows his 8.65 ERA is also too high, but a 5.81 SIERA is still nothing to write home about.

Given the massive park upgrade and Gutierrez’s constant struggles, it’s safe to assume the Cubs will do some damage in this spot offensively. Gutierrez has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his last three games.

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds MLB Game Pick

While neither team is actively trying to win baseball games this season, something has to give tonight. The Reds are just 5-9 so far this season at home, while the Cubs are 9-9 on the road. Cincinnati has played the fewest home games in the league, which has likely played a role in their abysmal start.

Please Note:
Scoring is down around baseball this season, but we have seen more offense over the past couple of weeks. The Reds are actually one of the few teams in the league that has been a better “over” bet than an “under” bet on the year. 23 of Cincinnati’s 40 games on the year have gone over the implied total. That’s the highest rate in the league.

Given the hitter-friendly ballpark and the quality of the starting pitchers in this game, this looks like one of the best offensive environments we have on Monday’s MLB slate. Give me the over on the nine-run total in Reds-Cubs.


Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Betting Recap

  • Moneyline: Cubs -124, Reds +114
  • Runline: Cubs -1.5 (+130), Reds +1.5 (-150)
  • Over/Under: Over 9 runs (-110), Under 9 runs (-110)
  • Pick: Over 9 runs (-110)


Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.

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