Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds Prediction & Picks

Lead MLB analyst Jason Radowitz previews the day's MLB slate. He's provides his Cubs vs Reds predictions below in his betting preview
Jason Radowitz
Mon, August 16, 11:12 AM EDT

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds Prediction & Picks

Monday, August 16, 2021 – 7:10pm EST

Great American Ball Park

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds Probable Pitchers:

  • Cubs: Justin Steele (2-1, 2.95 ERA)
  • Reds: Wade Miley (9-4, 3.00 ERA)

Click here to see Cubs @ Reds odds.

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds Prediction

The Cubs roster is basically a Triple A roster but that won’t stop this team from hitting lefties.

Wade Miley will take the mound for the Reds after getting lit up against the Braves, allowing five hits and five runs through five innings. Miley has had his ups and down this season but with a 3.00 ERA, he’s had more ups than downs.

However, in his last four starts, he’s allowed three or more runs in three of those four starts and has struggled getting a high rate of strikeouts.

The Cubs are known for striking out against righties at a high rate but they've been hitting lefties and can throw out an entire lineup of righties to go up against Miley.

In the last 30 days, Miley has an xFIP of 5.15 with a low strikeout rate of 16.3 percent and a walk rate of 11.6 percent. He’s allowing over 30 percent of line drive contact and also allowing 41.9 percent hard contact in those 30 days.

Against his last 100 right-handed batters, Miley has given up a .353 wOBA and ISO of .163. These numbers aren’t horrible but they’re also not amazing either. He walked 12 of 100 righties and struck only 15 of those 100 batters out.

The Cubs lineup collectively has a .346 ISO and wOBA of .423. It’s shocking, I know, but it’s not that shocking knowing the Cubs can throw out a lineup of strictly right-handed bats.

Frank Schwindel has a .769 ISO and .733 wOBA in his last 15 plate appearances against lefties. Meanwhile, David Bote, Patrick Wisdom, and Robinson Chirinos all have high ISO numbers and wOBA numbers with a sample size of about 20 at-bats for each.

The lineup has also walked 13.8 percent of the time against lefties and Miley is no stranger to the walk lately either.

To break it down further, the Cubs projected lineup is only hitting 28.6 percent ground balls and have seven batters of the eight hitting for hard contact. That means we’ll see hard hit line drives from this Cubs lineup against Miley.

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On the other hand, Justin Steele will get the start for the Cubs. He’s mainly a reliever but got his first start of the season against Milwaukee, allowing five hits and three runs thanks to two home runs.

He struck out one and walked one and threw 70 pitches. The one thing he did well was how he induced 11 ground balls through five innings. However, he still allowed eight fly balls and two left the yard.

The Reds lineup has an ISO of .230 and wOBA of .368 against lefties. They’re also walking 9.8 percent of the time and limit strikeouts to under 21 percent. Just like the Cubs, against lefties, the Reds have seven guys who can hit for hard contact.

Steele allows 36.8 percent hard contact in the last 30 days. He stretched out to five innings last time and is capable of going the full five innings. The Cubs could leave him out there regardless through five innings with the way their bullpen has performed as of late.

I’m going to pay up for the juice and take the over 4.5 in the first five innings of this one. The numbers project that both pitchers could leave this game without completing a quality start.

We’ll see runs early in this one against two lefties that have struggled as of late.

MLB Bet: Over 4.5 F5 (-150) at MGM

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