Chicago Cubs (41-29) at Cincinnati Reds (28-45)
|Date & Time||Thursday June 21, 2018, 7:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Cincinnati Reds +146 / Chicago Cubs -156 --- Over/Under: 9.5
The Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds meet in game one of a four game NL Central division set in MLB action from Great American Ballpark on Thursday.
The Chicago Cubs will be looking to keep their momentum going after winning the rubber match of their three game set against the Dodgers with a 4-0 win in the series finale on Wednesday. Kyle Schwarber hit a solo homer, while Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Tommy La Stella each added an RBI as well in the win. Javier Baez went 3 for 4 with a triple and two rouble, while Jason Heyward went 2 for 4 with a double of his own. Ben Zobrist and Albert Almora Jr. each contributed a base hit as well in the victory. Jon Lester got the win after throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits to improve to 9-2 this season. Kyle Hendricks will start game one and is 5-6 with a 3.55 ERA and 64 strikeouts this season. In his career, Hendricks is 4-1 with a 3.57 ERA and 58 strikeouts against Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Reds will be looking to extend their winning streak which currently sits at three games following a 5-3 win over Detroit in their series finale on Wednesday. Scooter Gennett led the Reds with two RBIs, going 1 for 4 with a home run, while Eugenio Suarez and Adam Duvall each added a solo home run. Tucker Barnhart went 2 for 4 with an RBI of his own to round out the scoring for the Reds in the win, while Scott Schebler and Billy Hamilton each had two hits with a double. Jesse Winker added a base hit as well to cap off the Cincinnati offense in the winning effort. Tyler Mahle got the win to improve to 6-6 this season, giving up two runs on five hits while walking four and striking out eight over six innings of work. Raisel Iglesias closed out the 9th for his 11th save of the year. Matt Harvey will start game one and is 1-5 with a 5.92 ERA and 46 strikeouts this season. In his career, Harvey is 1-1 with a 4.57 ERA and 22 strikeouts against the Cubs.
Chicago is 16-7 in their last 23 games overall and 2-5 in Hendricks’ last 7 division starts while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games overall. Cincinnati is 0-4 in Harvey’s last 4 starts and 13-29 in their last 42 home games while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games overall. Chicago is 46-19 in the last 65 meetings between these two teams and 20-8 in the last 28 meetings between the two in Cincinnati.
Hendricks hasn’t been the most consistent pitcher this season which isn’t something we are used to seeing from him in comparison to past seasons. However, one thing that Harvey has done consistently over the last few weeks is end up with the loss. Sometimes it’s just as simple as not overthinking it. The Cubs are a good team that have been playing well over the last month, and are just a better team than the Reds. We are also getting a decent line with the Cubs here, so I’ll lay the juice with Chicago to draw first blood.