“Is this heaven?”
“No, it’s Iowa.”
Major League Baseball returns to Iowa for the Field of Dreams game — and even though this year’s matchup between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds isn’t as heavenly — with the right wager people will come, people will most definitely come.
There is nothing more than pride on the line when the Cubbies’ Drew Smyly toes the rubber against Reds’ rookie Nick Lodolo. So, what is the best bet in this National League Central rivalry?
Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Cubs vs. Reds on Thursday, August 11.
Cubs vs Reds odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Field of Dreams game is close to a toss up according to oddsmakers, but it’s the home-side Reds who are the slightest of favorites sitting in the -115 range. The total hit the board at 9.0 and is juiced to the Over as of Thursday afternoon.
Cubs vs Reds predictions
- Prediction: Reds ML (-110)
- Prediction: Over 9 (-105)
- Best bet: Lodolo Under 17.5 outs recorded (-135)
Picks made on 8/11/2022 at 3:15 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Cubs vs Reds game info
• Location: Field of Dreams, Dyersville, IO
• Date: Thursday, August 11, 2022
• First pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
• TV: FOX
Cubs vs Reds betting preview
Drew Smyly (4-6, 3.98 ERA): What you see is what you get with Smyly. He is a veteran lefty who relies on locating and mixing his pitches to create soft contact. He's produced mixed results this season, but he is coming off a start where he held the Marlins scoreless on five hits over 6 2-3 innings.
Nick Lodolo (3-3, 4.40 ERA): The Reds' rookie is making just his 10th career start, but the southpaw is already showing flashes of what made him a first-round pick. Lodolo has got an impressive strikeout rate and has limited opponents to three earned runs or fewer in seven of his nine starts.
With this game taking place in Iowa at the Field of Dreams, clear skies are expected when the first pitch gets thrown out. There will be light winds blowing in from center field that may reduce home run chances.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 5-2 in the seven meetings between the Cubs and Reds this season. Find more MLB betting trends for Cubs vs. Reds
Cubs vs Reds picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Cubs and the Reds enter this game just one game apart in the NL Central standings, and that would be intriguing if not for the fact they are both 20-plus games below .500. So, unfortunately, the best part about this matchup will be the incredible throwback uniforms that the teams will will wear.
That said, it’s the Cubbies who enter this series with a little more momentum, winning four of their last six games while Cincy come in losers of five of its last seven. But Cincinatti might have the edge and it starts with Lodolo.
All things considered, the rookie left-hander has been pretty solid for the Reds. Lodolo owns a 4.14 expected ERA while limiting opponents to a .233 expected batting average and striking out an impressive 12.1 batters per nine innings.
Tonight, he’ll face a lineup that has had its fair share of troubles when digging in against southpaws. Chicago ranks 24th in batting average and 21st in OPS when facing left-handers. It also has the sixth-highest strikeout rate.
Meanwhile, the Cubs counter Lodolo with a veteran southpaw Drew Smyly. As noted, Smyly requires precision to keep hitters off balance, but if he doesn’t the results can be wonky. His 4.44 xERA is notably higher than his 3.98 ERA and is surrendering a .258 xBA to opponents.
And to be honest, the Reds' offense has been solid against left-handers this season, ranking 13th in average and 15th in OPS. They have the better starter and the offense performs better in this matchup, so they should be favored by more than this.
Prediction: Reds moneyline (-110 at bet365)
The total of 9.0 seems like a pretty accurate number for this matchup, but players should be jacked up to play on the magical Field of Dreams so we’re going to side with the Over.
For starters, the Cubs' offense seems rejuvenated after holding on to Willson Contreras and Ian Happ at the trade deadline. The overall offense hasn’t been a problem for them, ranking a middle-of-the-pack 15th in batting average and 14th in OPS.
And even though Lodolo is the better of the two starters in this one, it’s not like he’s unhittable. He also tends to build up his pitch count quickly (more on that later), and that means extra work for a Reds' bullpen that ranks dead last in MLB in ERA.
Additionally, Chicago's relievers aren’t much better ranking 21st in ERA. And with Smyly averaging less than five innings a start this season, both offenses should be able to take advantage of sub-par bullpens.
It doesn’t hurt there has been an average of 12.57 runs per game scored over the seven meetings between these two teams this season.
Plus, remember in last year’s edition of this game we saw a whopping eight balls fly into the corn field? Bet on more fireworks in this year’s Field of Dreams Game, or at least enough to get us Over this total.
Prediction: Over 9 (-105 at DraftKings)
I hinted at this earlier, but my best bet for this Field of Dreams game is for Nick Lodolo to go Under his out-recorded prop of 17.5 because he does two things that can get you out of a game quickly. One, he strikes out a fair number of batters, but he also walks his fair share of hitters as well, giving up 4.2 free passes per nine.
As a result, Lodolo averages just 4.78 innings pitched per start and he needs to complete six innings to cash the Over outs recorded, something he’s done just twice in his nine career starts.
Nick Lodolo Prop: Under 17.5 outs recorded (-135)
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