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Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs Pick-Odds-Prediction 4/29/14

Chicago Cubs (7-16) at Cincinnati Reds (11-13)

MLB Baseball: Wednesday, April 29, 2014 at 7:10 pm (Great American Ball Park)

Jeff Samardzija (R) (0-2) (1.528) vs. Alfredo Simon (R) (3-1) (1.301)

The Line: Cincinnati Reds -144 / Chicago Cubs +134 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds

TV: WCIU, FS-Ohio

The Chicago Cubs travel to Great American Ball Park to open a series with the Cincinnati Reds Monday.

The Cubs are not picked to challenge in the National League and might be out of the running already as they have struggled in most areas. The Cubs did snap a four game slide with a 4-0 decion at Milwaukee on Sunday behind another strong effort on the mound from Jason Hammel. Hammel tossed a three hit shutout over seven innings while whiffing seven to improve to 4-1. The bats totaled nine hits with Starlin Castro blasting a pair of solo bombs while Mike Olt and Darwin Barney drove in a run each. The Cubs open the series on the mound with ace Jeff Samardzija who has yet to win his first game. Samardzija has been outstanding despite an 0-2 record as he has posted a 1.53 ERA over 35.1 innings.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs Pick-Odds-Prediction  4/29/14

USA TODAY Sports

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I don't think Cincinnati has hit their stride at the plate which isn't anything out of the ordinary as we have this struggle at the plate before. Having said that, the lack of scoring has hurt the work on the mound which has hurt the win column. Facing the pitching heavy Braves over the weekend didn't help as the Reds were swept away following a 1-0 loss in ten innings on Sunday. Ace Johnny Cueto received a no decision for eight innings of three hit baseball with eleven strikeouts but JJ Hoover wasn't as fortunate as he lost it with a 10th inning run plated on a pair of hits. The offense managed only five hits and walked and didn't threaten. Cincinnati sends Alfredo Simon to the bump in game one of their series with the Cubs on Monday. Simon has been one of the top hurlers in the game thus far with a 3-1 record and 1.30 ERA covering 27.2 frames.

The Reds need to get their bats going after being outscored 10-5 over three losses in Atlanta. I'm backing them here as they have found a way to beat the Cubs in the past and Chicago is also struggling...

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Cincinnati -144

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