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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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)