Another day, another loss for Chicago as they head into the May 1st Cubs at Reds matchup? The North Siders fell 8-6 to Cincinnati in Friday’s series opener, their 6th defeat in the last seven games. Cincy meanwhile has now won three of their last four.
The Reds have value even at -160 for Saturday afternoon’s contest. For one, they are 8-5 at home while Chicago is an atrocious 3-8 away from Wrigley Field this season. The Cubs also send Zach Davies (1-2, 9.47 ERA) to the mound, who has been a human batting practice so far this season. Then again, Luis Castillo (1-2, 6.29 ERA) isn’t exactly pitching at Ace quality either. The early lean is on the over 9.
Chicago Struggling on the Road
The Cubs are just 1-4 on their current road swing. The offense was probably good enough to win on Friday night by plating 6 runs, but Chicago’s pitching failed them as Jake Arrieta lasted only 3.1 IP, giving up 7ER including 3HR.
Arrieta’s poor outing puts the Chicago bullpen a little light heading into the May 1st Cubs at Reds matchup. That’s not a good thing when you’ve got Davies taking the bump. The right-hander hasn’t pitched out of the 4th in his last four starts, allowing 7, 4, 2, and 5 ER over that span.
Chicago’s offense will likely need to provide a bail out on Saturday afternoon if they are going to get a win as +140 underdogs. Kris Bryant had a HR on Friday night and had his third multi-hit game in a row, but Anthony Rizzo came up lame in the clean up spot with 6 men LOB. Rizzo is just 5-24 (.208) vs. Castillo, and the Cubs as a team have just three players hitting better than .250 vs. the Reds starter.
Reds in Line for a Big Win?
Cincinnati belted out 3HRs in Friday night’s win, with Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, and Nick Senzel all going yard. The Reds may be putting something together, taking two of three at the Dodgers while scoring 5+ runs in Julio Urias and Walker Buehler starts for L.A.
The Reds definitely don’t face that kind of pitching on Saturday afternoon. Davies hasn’t thrown more than 90 pitches in any start all season for the Cubs, and the Reds as a team hit over .300 vs. the Chicago starter (31-101). Jesse Winkler should be able to set the table in game two, as the Reds leadoff hitter is 4-7 (.571) in his career vs. Davies. Nick Castellanos, Votto, and Suarez have all gone deep vs. Davies as well.
The Reds offense will get theirs on Saturday, but what about Castillo on the mound? He’s had a 4ER outing in two of his last three starts, with the opponents hitting 2HR in both of those games. Castillo made one start vs. the Cubs last season, a game Chicago won 10-1.
Free May 1st Cubs at Reds Pick
It’s hard not to like Cincinnati in this one, as Davies has been miserable for the Cubs this season. Chicago’s poor road record doesn’t help them either, but they will get a couple HRs on Saturday even with a cross wind at Great American Ballpark. The total is way too low for two shaky pitchers on the hill.
Cubs 6 – Reds 7
Free Pick: Over 9