The Cincinnati Reds held off several comeback attempts from the Chicago Cubs in the series opener to further its NL Central lead.
The team will hope to continue to separate from the likes of the Cubs and the Brewers with Ben Lively on the mound against the Cubs' Justin Steele.
How should we bet this matchup between two scorching offenses over the past two weeks or so?
First, the odds, and then our best bet:
Reds vs. Cubs odds, run line and total
Reds vs. Cubs prediction and pick
The Cubs enter as the best hitting team in baseball in terms of OPS over the last 15 days, per MLB.com, but the Reds aren't too far behind, checking in eighth in that same metric against elite pitching staffs like the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lively has been a negative regression candidate all season, and could struggle against a potent Cubs lineup. While his 3.76 ERA looks strong on the surface its supported by a 4.56 xERA. Lively isn't a power pitcher, he strikes out about eight batters per nine innings and allows a ton of hard contact, 15% home run to fly ball rate.
With the wind set to be blowing out to left field today at Wrigley Field, the ball can be flying for Chicago.
However, the Reds can keep up with the left hander Steele, the team is 10th in big league batting average against southpaws this season, hitting .260. Further, Cincinnati's offense has knocked him around already this season, posting 10 hits and scoring six total runs in less than four innings against Steele back on May 26.
Stay off the side and trust both offenses to thrive on Tuesday night.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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