The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds get set for the rubber game of their three-game series on Wednesday, April 5, with first pitch set for 12:35 p.m. ET. Cincy took the game one, 7-6, while the Cubs’ bats broke out late in game two for a commanding 12-5 win on Tuesday.
-The Cubs are -115 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Reds are installed as -105 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5.
Cubs-Reds picks: Wednesday, April 5th
Out: OF Seiya Suzuki (oblique strain), RP Brandon Hughes (knee inflammation), SP Kyle Hendricks (shoulder strain), RP Ethan Roberts (Tommy John), RP Codi Heuer (elbow surgery
Day to day: SS Jose Barrero (hamstring tightness)
Out: 1B Joey Votto (left shoulder/biceps), OF Nick Senzel (toe fracture), RP Tony Santillan (stress fracture in back), SP Luke Weaver (forearm soreness), RP Lucas Sims (back spasms), SP Justin Dunn (shoulder), RP Tejay Antone (Tommy John), RP Vladimir Gutierrez (Tommy John)
Marcus Stroman vs. Hunter Greene
Stroman has excelled against the Reds in his career, posting a 4-1 record and a 2.55 ERA in six career starts — including three stellar performances at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, one of the most notorious hitter’s parks in baseball. The righty got off to a strong start to his 2023 campaign on Opening Day against the Brewers, firing six innings of shutout ball while striking out eight.
Greene has faced the Cubs three times in his young career, going 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA and striking out 19 in 15 innings. He’s long struggled in his home park, compiling a 4.21 ERA on the road compared to a 4.88 ERA in Cincinnati — including a rough start on Opening Day against the Pirates this season in which he surrendered three runs on five hits and three walks in 3.1 innings (albeit with eight strikeouts).
Despite Great American Ballpark’s reputation, I’m taking the under here. Greene’s explosive stuff makes him capable of dominating on any given day, and after struggling to open the season, I think he can find success against a Cubs offense that’s struggled a bit to open the season and doesn’t feature too many lefties. Stroman, meanwhile, looked great on Opening Day behind Chicago’s much-improved infield defense, and as a ground-ball pitcher he’s uniquely suited to avoiding the long ball in Cincinnati. The first two games of this series cleared the over easily, but I have a hunch things will come back down to Earth on getaway day.
Pick: Under 8.5
If I’m banking on Greene to bounce back and live up to the promise of that 100-mph fastball, then it seems likely that a sneaky-dangerous Reds lineup can do just enough for Cincinnati to take the series.