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Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs - 4/23/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Chicago Cubs (13-4) at Cincinnati Reds (8-9)

MLB Baseball: Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm (Great American Ball Park)

J Lackey (3-0) (3.66) vs. D Straily (0-0) (2.70)

The Line: Cincinnati Reds +156 / Chicago Cubs -166 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FSOH, CSCh

Coming up on Saturday from Great American Ballpark, we’ve got MLB action between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds.

This will be game three of a four-game set. In Thursday’s opener, the Cubs destroyed the Reds 16-0 in a complete-game no-hitter for Jake Arrieta. On Friday in game two, things didn’t get much better for Cincinnati, as Chicago took another victory 8-1.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs - 4/23/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

For Saturday’s game, the Cubs will be starting right-hander John Lackey. In three starts this year, the 3-0 Lackey has been stellar with a 3.66 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 22 strikeouts over 19.2 innings. On Monday against the Cardinals in his most recent outing, Lackey delivered seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts in a victory.

The young, talented Cubs lineup has a lot of expectations, and so far they’re delivering pretty well. Dexter Fowler has amassed 23 hits with 15 runs and 12 RBI. Kris Bryant has four homers, 13 runs and 14 RBI. As for Anthony Rizzo, he’s got six homers and 17 RBI but is batting just .194.

The Reds will be giving right-hander Daniel Straily a go on Saturday. Straily earned his way into the starting rotation this month, and has posted a 2.70 ERA with a 0.83 WHIP in 13.1 innings. In his lone start this season on Monday, Straily gave up just one run in five innings against the Rockies.

The Reds bats have been fairly solid overall this season (just not lately), but there’s always room for improvement. Jay Bruce has 18 hits with four homers and 15 RBI, while Eugenio Suarez has logged 11 runs, 17 hits and 10 RBI on four homers. Joey Votto hasn’t quite been able to get it going with seven RBI and a .180 BA. Votto was 1-for-3 on Friday.

The Cubs are 4-1 in their last five Saturday games, and 62-27 in their last 89 overall.As for the Reds, they’re 5-1 in their last six Saturday games, but just 1-5 in their last six against a team with a winning percentage above .600.

I’ve made no secret that I’m drinking the Cubs Kool-Aid this season, and I’d feel pretty silly picking against them at this point--especially given the first two games of this series. Lackey and the gang should be able to hang up another victory here to keep things rolling.

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Chicago Cubs -166

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