Reds vs Cubs Picks and Predictions: Good Pitching Slows Down Offense

After back-to-back 11-run games that went Over, we're expecting the offense to cool down in the third contest of this NL Central series. Find out who we like in this Tyler Mahle and Zach Davies pitching matchup in our Reds vs. Cubs picks and predictions.

Posted: Jul 28, 2021 1:08 PM ET Updated: Jul 28, 2021 1:08 PM ET Est Time: 5 min
Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s National League Central showdown between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs should be an intriguing one.

For starters, the sell-off in Chicago is on while the Reds' postseason hopes are also quickly fading as they trail the Milwaukee Brewers by seven games. Oh, and there is some bad blood between these teams (thanks Javy Baez).

Check out our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Reds vs. Cubs on Wednesday, July 28.

Reds vs Cubs game info

Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Date: Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Time: 8:05 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Ohio, Marquee Sports Network

Reds vs Cubs odds

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Reds vs Cubs betting preview

Starting pitchers

Tyler Mahle (7-3, 3.92 ERA): Mahle has been mostly solid for the Reds this season. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs or fewer eight times in his last 11 starts while limiting opponents to a .214 batting average.

Zach Davies (6-6, 4.30 ERA): This season has had some ups and downs for Davies but the right-hander has been a reliable arm in the Cubs’ rotation after a rough start to the season, having given up two earned runs or fewer in 12 of his last 16 starts.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Reds: Nick Castellanos RF (Out), Nick Senzel CF (Out), Mike Moustakas 3B (Out), Micahel Feliz RP (Out), Teyaj Antone RP (Out), Lucas Sims RP (Out).
Cubs: Javier Baez SS (Questionable), Rowan Wick RP (Out), Brad Wieck RP (Out), Jonathan Holder RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 9-4 the last 13 times the Reds and Cubs have played at Wrigley Field. Find more MLB betting trends for Reds vs. Cubs.

Moneyline pick

The Reds and Cubs rivalry is fun and full of bad blood and it may be because these teams, no matter their current place in the standings, continue to play tight ball games. In their 11 meetings this season, the final score has been within three runs nine times and has played to one-run results seven times. With this pitching matchup, it could be another close one.

Mahle gets the ball for the Reds and the right-hander is pitching to a 3.71 ERA and limiting opponents to a .214 batting average over 11 starts since May 25. Davies, meanwhile, owns a 3.12 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP over his last 16 outings. 

With both starters having pitched fairly well going into this matchup we’ll have to look elsewhere for our betting edge and we can find that at the dish. Even with their injuries, the Reds have a potent lineup. Joey Votto is on fire and the team ranks fifth in batting average and sixth in OPS when facing right-handers this season. 

The Cubs, on the other hand, rank dead last in MLB in batting average against right-handers and are 20th in OPS. With everything else close to equal, the Reds are worth a play at this price.

PREDICTION: Reds (-105)

Over/Under pick

Despite the first two games of this series going Over, this total sticks out like a sore thumb. A number of 10 is way too high for a matchup known to consistently have close, high-intensity games.

Even though the first two games each saw 11 total runs scored, last night’s game was 5-2 heading into the ninth and the opener had 10 runs scored heading into the ninth the night before. And while this matchup has seen some scoring this season, the NL Central rivals are averaging 8.91 runs per game over their 11 meetings. 

On top of that, Davies has allowed two earned runs on six hits in nine innings against the Reds this season, while Mahle has given up one earned run on six hits in his last 10 innings versus Chicago. 

With the Cubs' struggles against right-handers and the Reds still missing some key pieces to their lineup (Castellanos in particular), this game is a good bet to sneak below the number.

PREDICTION: Under 10 (-110)

Reds vs Cubs betting card

  • Reds (-105)
  • Under 10 (-110)

Picks made on 7/28/2021 at 12:44 p.m. ET

MLB parlays

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