The Cincinnati Reds (21-29) and Chicago Cubs (22-27) will open a three-game NL Central series on Friday afternoon. The Reds split their four-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals this week, while Chicago snagged two of three against the New York Mets. Hunter Greene (0-4, 4.68 ERA) is set go to for Cincy, while the Cubs counter with breakout lefty Justin Steele (6-1, 2.20). First pitch from Wrigley Field is set for 2:20 p.m. ET.
Chicago is a -175 moneyline favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, making the Reds +145 underdogs with the over/under set at seven.
Reds-Cubs picks: Friday, May 26
Day to day: OF Wil Myers (undisclosed)
Out: OF Henry Ramos (hip), RP Derek Law (elbow), RP Casey Legumina (ankle), SP Nick Lodolo (leg), RP Reiver Sanmartin (elbow), RP Fernando Cruz (shoulder), SP Connor Overton (elbow), 1B Joey Votto (shoulder), SP Justin Dunn (shoulder), RP Tony Santillan (back), SP Vladimir Gutierrez (elbow), RP Tejay Antone (forearm)
Out: RP Nick Burdi (abdomen), RP Brad Boxberger (forearm), OF Cody Bellinger (knee), SP Adrian Sampson (knee), RP Ethan Roberts (elbow), RP Codi Heuer (elbow)
Hunter Greene vs. Justin Steele
Greene has made 10 starts in his second MLB season and after a hot start, he’s struggling in May. Through four starts this month, he has a 6.95 ERA as the Reds lost all of those matchups.
Steele has been excellent in 2023 aside from one start when he allowed five runs. The southpaw has allowed two or fewer runs in eight of 10 starts this year, including his last outing when he threw six scoreless innings.
This is a good matchup for the Cubs to put a dent into this total. Greene has been allowing plenty of baserunners in this recent rough patch, and Chicago ranks third in on-base percentage (.338) this season. The Reds rank 13th in that category (.325) and should do enough to push the total over this number even with a strong day from Steele.
Pick: Over 7
It’s tough to have much confidence in Greene in this spot. The righty has great stuff, but he’s struggled with his command recently and he’s going up against a lineup that does an excellent job at getting on base.