By Hector Duran
The Cubs were able to get another win yesterday as Alec Mills twirled a gem going 6 innings and giving up only 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs while striking out 3. Javy Baez had 2 home runs and David Bote also had one. For the Reds, Nicholas Castellanos, Curt Casali, and Freddy Galvis all hit home runs but it was not enough as the Reds fell 8-5. The Cubs will look to win the series as it will be Kyle Hendricks vs Sonny Gray.
Moneyline: Cubs (-110); Reds (-110)
Spread: Cubs +1.5 (-190); Reds -1.5 (+165)
Total: 9.5; Over (+105); Under (-125)
First Pitch: 5:40pm CST; Great American Ballpark; Cincinnati, OH
The Cubs will have the reigning NL Player of the Week in Kyle Hendricks on the bump as he is coming off of his opening day complete game shutout against the Brewers. In his career, he is 6-3 with a 3.84 ERA against the Reds but he has struggled at Great American Ballpark where he is 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA. Not really sure why he has always struggled against this team, but he has. Javy Baez looks to be heating up after a rough first couple games. As mentioned above, he had two home runs and 3 RBI. Hopefully the Cubs are able to get Kris Bryant back in the lineup tonight who was out with a sore elbow.
Cincinnati will send out Sonny Gray who will be making his 2nd start of the season. In his first start, he went 6 innings giving up 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 9 against the Tigers. He has been a bright spot for this team who had lofty aspirations heading into this season. There is still time for them to turn it around but they are missing a couple key guys. The Reds offense is doing their part, it is just the pitching that cannot hold their end. If the Reds want to have a good shot at winning this game, they will have to have Sonny Gray go at least 7 innings before David Bell turns it over to the pen.
Analysis and Best Bet
Given the struggles of Hendricks coupled with both the Cubs and Reds offense looking well, I am going to take the over on 9.5 runs. It sucks that Cincinnati will be without Moustakas and Senzel still but this team is still capable of scoring runs. I see this game being a crapshoot and either team can win but it looks like runs will be scored. When I first saw the 9.5 run total I thought to myself no way but once I got digging on Hendricks’ numbers, it all made sense now.