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Picks, predictions for Reds vs. Cubs on Tuesday, August 1

Henry Palattella shares their top picks on DraftKings Sportsbook for Reds-Cubs on Tuesday, August 1.

Will Benson of the Cincinnati Reds looks back to the dugout after hitting an RBI double in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 31, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds (59-49) aded onto their National League Central division lead with an electric 6-5 win over the Cubs (53-53) on Monday. They’ll look to make it two in a row over the Cubs on Tuesday when they send Ben Lively (4-6, 3.76 ERA) to the mound, while the Cubs will counter with Justin Steele (11-3, 2.87 ERA). First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m. ET.

The Cubs are -166 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Reds are +140 underdogs. The total is set at 8.5.

Reds-Cubs picks: Tuesday, August 1

Injury report

Reds

Out: 2B Jonathan India (left foot plantar fascitis), SP Hunter Greene (right hip pain), RP Casey Legumina (right shoulder pain), SP Nick Lodolo (left tibia stress reaction)

Cubs

RP Brad Boxberger (right forearm strain)

Starting pitchers

Ben Lively vs. Justin Steele

After spending four years in the basbeall wilderness, Lively made his return to MLB this year, and has been solid for the Reds. He has a 3.94 ERA in 11 starts this year (his first two appearances came out of the bullpen), and boasts a 3.00 ERA in his four July starts. His expected ERA is nearly a full point higher than his actual ERA (4.55), but he ranks in the 72nd percentile in hard-hit rate.

While Steele has spent most of the year looking like an ace, he struggled in his last start against the Reds when he allowed six runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings on May 26, which is his shortest non-injury start this season.

That road streak might be highlighted by a 9-0 win at Chicago on May 26, when Steele (11-3, 2.87 ERA) allowed six runs — five earned — and 10 hits in just 3 2/3 innings. He allowed one run in five innings his last time out against the Cardinals, but is three starts removed from allowing six earned runs against the Red Sox.

Over/Under pick

As mentioned above, the Reds had Steele’s number the last time they faced off against him. That, coupled with Lively’s sketchy career track record (career 4.43 ERA) has me backing the over.

Pick: Over 8.5

Moneyline pick

The Reds have dominated the Cubs this year, and are currently riding a four-game winning streak at Wrigley Field. They make it five in a row tonight.

Pick: Reds