The Chicago Cubs (72-62) and the Cincinnati Reds (69-67) will start a four-game weekend series by playing a doubleheader on Friday, September 1. The first game is scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m. ET, with game two projected to have first pitch at 6:40 p.m. ET from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio. Chicago will start Jose Cuas (3-0, 3.69 ERA), but Cincinnati has announced it will go with Lyon Richardson (0-1, 8.59 ERA) in game two.
The Cubs are the -130 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Reds are the +110 underdogs, and the run total is set at 9.5.
Cubs-Reds picks: Friday, September 1st
Out: SP Marcus Stroman (ribs), RP Michael Fulmer (forearm)
Out: SP Hunter Greene (covid), RP Alex Young (hamstring), C Curt Casali (foot), 1B Joey Votto (shoulder), 2B Kevin Newman (oblique), 2B Jonathan India (foot), SS Matt McClain (oblique)
Jose Cuas vs. Lyon Richardson
Cuas is a reliever who will be making his 57th appearance of the season but only his second start. He spent most of the year with the Kansas City Royals but was acquired by Chicago at the 2023 trade deadline. His starting likely signals a bullpen day for the Cubs as he has yet to pitch more than two innings in an game.
The rookie Richardson will start his third game of the season on Friday night. He has struggled to settle in on the mound, pitching only a combined 7.1 innings over two starts. Most recently, Richardson allowed three earned runs on four hits in 4.1 innings against the Los Angeles Angels. He allowed three earned runs on four hits, striking out two and walking three.
The first game ended 6-2, with Cody Bellinger starting the scoring with his 21st home run of the season. Ian Happ hit a double and a home run, and the Reds were unable to overcome the deficit. This game is expected to be a battle of the bullpens, and that is good news for the over. Cincinnati’s bullpen allowed three earned runs after the sixth inning in game one.
Pick: Over 9.5
I nearly took the Reds in this game, but the amount of injuries they have, coupled with a shaky rookie on the mound, means this one should go Chicago’s way. The Cubs have won five of their last six games and should sweep the doubleheader if the bullpen doesn’t fall apart.