Oddsmakers have made the Cubs huge favorites (CHI -176) in the May 24th NL free pick. That being said, there is some nice value on visiting Cincinnati (CIN +162) as they have won 4 of 7 recently against some quality teams. The Reds also took 2 of 3 from Chicago at Great American Ballpark when the teams met up for a series 10 days ago. Does Joe Maddon’s team reward bettors in this one or does Cincinnati cash in on the nice payday?
Reds Try to Get to Hendricks on Friday
Cincinnati took 2 of 3 from the Cubs when they last met up but that lone loss came with Friday’s starter Kyle Hendricks on the hill. Cincinnati managed just 3 hits off the Chicago right-hander in 8.0 IP on May 14th. There are some Cincinnati batters who have had success against Hendricks however, namely Joey Votto who is 9-21 (.429) with 3HR and 11 BB’s. Votto is just 3 for his last 19 (.158) overall however. Can the Reds rely on somebody like Jose Iglesias – who has 7 hits in his last 19 AB – to generate some offense in the May 24th NL free pick?
Friday’s Reds starter is Anthony Desclafani, who missed the Cubs in the last series. That’s probably a good thing against Chicago’s power packed offense as the Cincinnati right-hander gave up 3HR to the Dodgers in his last start. Desclafani has allowed 4ER in each of his last two starts, failing to pitch past 4.0 IP in either outing. The Cubs have hit just .250 as a team vs. Desclafani, but only in 72AB.
Cubs Looking for a Strong Weekend Showing
Chicago had their chances on Thursday, but ultimately fell 7-9 to the Phillies for a split of their 4-game series. The Cubs now hold just a 1.5 game lead over the Brewers in the Central. Chicago would like to return the favor of getting beat in 2 of 3 games vs. the Reds when the teams last met up. Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo hit the Cubs 10th and 11th home runs of the past week in the series finale at Wrigley on Thursday but the wind is blowing in slightly on Friday. Javier Baez has had success vs. Desclafani (2-5, HR) and Kris Bryant also has 5 hits in 15 AB vs. the Reds starter.
Kyle Hendricks is the key to the Cubs success in the May 24th NL free pick. That’s a good spot to be in for Chicago backers as Hendricks was not only masterful vs. Cincinnati the last time he faced them, he’s gone 4-1 with a 2.53 ERA in his last 6 starts. Hendricks has shown amazing control, striking out 35 batters while walking just 6 over that span. Couple that with a Reds offense that has been a bit up-and-down lately and ML does seem as high of a price to pay for Chicago.
May 24th NL Free Pick Betting
Chicago’s offense has put up a total of 22 runs on their recent 4-game home stand and the offense should continue to be there Friday vs. Desclafani. Can Cincinnati keep up in a high scoring affair? Probably not, considering Hendricks has had great control lately.
NL Free Pick: Chicago Cubs RL (-1.5) +110