Cubs vs Reds MLB Lines & Pick for Thursday Night

Updated: 22/09/2023

If the Chicago Cubs don’t win the Central Division title this year, they can partially blame the Cincinnati Reds as they have given the first-place Cubbies fits in 2019. Chicago is favored, though, on the MLB Odds for Thursday’s series opener in Cincinnati.

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Weather Forecast

  • Partly Cloudy: 30°C/86°F
  • Humidity: 50%
  • Precipitation: 12%
  • Cloud Cover: 36%
  • Wind: 9 mph W
  • Stadium Type: Open

Why Bet on Chicago Cubs?

The Cubs are almost unbeatable at home yet way below .500 on the road and still lead the NL Central. As a pitching staff, the Cubs have a 3.29 ERA at home, and their WHIP is a strong 1.18 so far this season. On the road, those numbers worsen dramatically, with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. The Cubs only have one starting pitcher who has a better road ERA than he does at home, and that’s José Quintana. In total, the Cubs have allowed nearly 60 more runs on the road this season than they have at home.

The team is quite shorthanded right now with All-Star catcher Willson Contreras, closer Craig Kimbrel and fellow reliever Brandon Kintzler all on the injured list. Both Kimbrel and Kintzler may just miss the 10 days. Kintzler has 0.72 ERA at home and a 4.35 ERA on the road in a similar number of appearances. At least the team did activate reliever Pedro Strom from the injured list this week, but he won’t be used in high-leverage situations (i.e. closing) for a while because he was struggling before getting hurt.

The Cubbies go with Cole Hamels (6-3). Hamels threw five scoreless innings Saturday, allowing just four hits while striking out six in a no-decision against the Brewers. The 35-year-old was activated off the injured list prior to the start and allowed just four harmless singles before he was removed after 74 pitches. There were no vestiges of the injury against Milwaukee. Hamels walked none, and manager Joe Maddon gave particular praise to his changeup and curveball.

Over his five frames, Hamels averaged 91.1 mph on his fastball, per Statcast. That was right in line with his season rate (91.6 mph) before the injury. Hamels fired his signature changeup 19 times and generated eight of his 16 swinging strikes on the day with that offspeed pitch.

“I know I was on a pitch count (of 75), so I had to make them count. You just try to not overdo it,” Hamels said.
Hamels has been outstanding for the Cubs this season even though he has not earned a win since June 12. The left-hander holds a 2.84 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 103 strikeouts in 104.2 innings.

Team Stats


  • Runs: 4.96
  • Hits: 8.52
  • Walks: 3.66
  • Strike Outs: 9.09


  • Runs: 4.34
  • Hits: 8.41
  • Walks: 3.20
  • Strike Outs: 8.65

Why Bet on Cincinnati?

The Reds won the first 3 series of a season vs the Cubs for the first time since they won the first 5 series of 2013, then suffered a 2-1 series loss in their most recent meeting (7/15-7/17 at Wrigley Field).

Since the All-Star break the Reds are 13-12 and lead the National League in hitting (.286) and OPS (.756) while ranking second in runs scored, slugging and on-base percentage. The Reds have one advantage here in that they were off Wednesday, while the Cubs had to finish a series vs. Oakland. Cincinnati swept two at home early this week vs. the Angels. Tucker Barnhart hit a pair of home runs and scored three runs in Tuesday’s victory. Barnhart has hit three of his eight home runs this season in the last three games.

Cubs vs Reds should be a close victory for Cincinnati.

Alex Wood looks for his first home win as a Red. Wood (1-0) struck out five and picked up the win in Friday’s 5-2 victory over Atlanta, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk over 6.2 innings. Both runs scored on solo shots, but otherwise, it was a strong outing for the southpaw, who threw 60 of 93 pitches for strikes in his second start since coming off the injured list.

Warming up for the seventh inning Friday, Reds Wood felt a cramp on the right side of his body and he tried to stretch out between pitches. Third baseman Eugenio Suárez and catcher Kyle Farmer alerted the dugout. When assistant trainer Tomas Vera approached the mound with acting manager Freddie Benavides and pitching coach Derek Johnson, Wood tried to wave them away. “Just getting used to the heat again,” he said.

Wood is 3-2 with a 2.86 ERA in nine career games (six starts) vs. the Cubs. In December, he was acquired from the Dodgers, along with C/IF Kyle Farmer, OF Matt Kemp, OF Yasiel Puig and cash, for RHP Homer Bailey, IF Jeter Downs and RHP Josiah Gray.

Team Stats


  • Runs: 4.54
  • Hits: 8.30
  • Walks: 2.92
  • Strike Outs: 8.64


  • Runs: 4.21
  • Hits: 7.95
  • Walks: 3.38
  • Strike Outs: 9.61

Cubs vs Reds MLB Betting Trends

  • Reds are 6-1 in their last 7 home games
  • Cubs are 0-5 in their last 5 road games vs. a left-handed starter
  • Over is 28-13-4 in the last 45 meetings in Cincinnati
  • Cubs are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the National League Central division
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Chi Cubs’ last 7 games on the road
  • Reds are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games at home
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Cincinnati’s last 9 games this season

Expert Final Score Prediction for Cubs vs Reds

Chicago Cubs 4 – Cincinnati Reds 5

This post first appeared here

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