Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds - 4/14/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Cincinnati Reds (5-2) at Chicago Cubs (6-1)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 8:05 pm (Wrigley Field)
R Iglesias (1-0) (2.31) vs. J Hammel (0-0) (1.50)
The Line: Chicago Cubs -169 / Cincinnati Reds +159 --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: CSCh, FSOH
Coming up on Thursday evening, we’ve got a great matchup on tap at Wrigley Field between two of the top dogs in the National League Central in the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs.
This will be game three of this series. In game one on Monday, the Cubs took the opener and first place in the division with a 5-3 victory. During Wednesday’s game two, Chicago scored five runs in the first inning on the way to a dominant 9-2 win and a 2-0 edge in the series.
For Thursday’s matchup, the Reds will be rolling out right-hander Raisel Iglesias. In his opening appearance, Iglesias gave up two runs against the Phillies, then came back out on Saturday to go 5.2 innings of one-run ball against the Pirates. Thus far, Iglesias is rocking a 1-0 record with a 2.31 ERA.
At the plate for the Reds, we’ve got a pretty powerful assortment of hitters. Eugenio Suarez has started out well with 12 hits, nine runs, nine RBI and four homers. Also of note is Jay Bruce, who has collected nine hits with 10 RBI so far in 2016 for Cincinnati. Bruce was 0-for-3 on Wednesday.
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Over on the Cubs’ side, we will see right-hander Jason Hammel coming out for Thursday’s game. In his one appearance so far this year, Hammel put up six innings of one-run ball against the Diamondbacks on Friday. Hammel struck out six batters there, and will come away with a nice year if he can avoid fading down the stretch as he did last season.
At the Cubs’ dish, it’s pretty easy to see why many people are picking Chicago to go all the way in 2016. Dexter Fowler heads a very focused lineup, and he’s posted 11 hits with eight runs so far. Anthony Rizzo is off to a nice start as well (but could stand to get his average up) with seven runs and 10 RBI. Ben Zobrist has also been hitting well, with nine hits and seven runs.
Over on the trends front, let’s check out what’s noteworthy. The Reds are just 2-5 in Iglesias’ last seven road starts, and 1-6 in their last seven road games against a team with a winning percentage greater than .600.
As for the Cubs, they’re 5-0 in their last five game threes of a series, and 8-1 in their last nine Thursday games. Chicago is also 4-1 in Hammel’s last five starts with five days’ rest.
I’ve made no secret about how I’m drinking the Cubs’ Kool-Aid this year, but I do think Cincinnati will pull off a win here. I like Iglesias to pitch well and set Cincinnati up for a victory--provided the team can get some run support going. If the Reds are going to get a victory in this series, this is the spot to do it.