The Chicago Cubs (73-88) and Cincinnati Reds (62-99) cap off a 6-game home-and-home set Wednesday at Great American Ball Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET.
Season series: Chicago leads 10-8
Chicago took all 3 games at Wrigley Field (Friday-Sunday) and now Cincinnati has taken the first 2 games at Great American in this odd season-ending 6-pack. The Cubs had won 7 games in a row and 11 of 12 before arriving in Cincinnati Monday.
The Reds snapped a 6-game losing skid with Monday’s triumph over Chicago but Cincy continues to struggle with the bats. The Reds have scored 6 runs on 12 hits in this series; they have slashed an anemic .177/.254/.274 (.528 OPS) since Sept. 22. Over that stretch Cincinnati has scored just 2.0 runs per game.
Cubs at Reds projected starters
RHP Adrian Sampson vs. RHP Graham Ashcraft
Sampson (4-5 3.10 ERA) has appeared in 20 games making 18 starts. He has a 1.21 WHIP 2.3 BB/9 and 6.2 K/9 through 101 2/3 IP.
- Has registered a 1.60 ERA over his last 7 starts
- Has logged a 2.42 ERA over his last 5 starts against Cincinnati (2021-22)
Ashcraft (5-5 4.52 ERA) has authored a 1.40 WHIP 2.3 BB/9 and 6.1 K/9 through 99 2/3 IP across 18 starts.
- Has allowed 26 base runners in 11 1/3 IP against Chicago this season (11.91 ERA)
- Owns a 3.98 home ERA
Cubs at Reds odds
- Moneyline: Cubs -125 (bet $125 to win $100) | Reds +102 (bet $100 to win $102)
- Run line (RL)/Against the spread (ATS): Cubs -1.5 (+127) | Reds +1.5 (-165)
- Over/Under (O/U): 8.5 (O: -117 | U: -103)
Cubs at Reds picks and predictions
Cubs 5 Reds 4
Chicago is playing out the dog days of the season in a better collective frame of mind. Cincinnati is just limping to the finish line and its offense has been abysmal.
The starting pitchers’ numbers and the batters they face Wednesday are compelling. That’s enough of a Cubs plus and Reds negative to provide some leverage on CHICAGO (-125) especially when you add in some value on the visitors’ side in the bullpen availability department.
Sampson does have some fade in his numbers. With the Reds getting last licks and Chicago being a club that plays a ton of 1-run games PASS and focus on the Cubs’ ML play.
Likable in some run-scoring facets; unlikable in others. Same deal on run-prevention indicators. Call this one a tangle of mixed signals and STEER CLEAR.
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