Cubs vs Reds Prediction, Pick and Preview, August 18: MLB

Cubs vs Reds Prediction, Pick and Preview, August 18: MLB

Time 12:35 p.m. EST
Cubs money line +270
Cubs run line +1.5 (+126)
Reds money line -325
Reds run line -1.5 (-159)
Over / under 9.5 (-110)


Key stats
  Cubs Reds
Record 53-69 65-56
Road / home record 22-41 32-28
Last 10 record 1-9 5-5
Streak W1 L1
Over / under record 53-62-7 65-50-6
Runs / game 4.16 5.12
Runs allowed / game 4.94 4.83



The Cubs are in Cincinnati Wednesday afternoon for the final game of a three game series vs the Reds.  The Reds took the first game 14-5, and the Cubs took the second game 2-1, as Kyle Hendricks kept the Reds in check with 5 hits.  The win last night broke the Cubs out of a 12 game losing streak.  The Reds were winners of 4 of 5 before dropping last night's game.

The Cubs continue to put a modest amount of runs on the board, but haven't been able to win their games with poor pitching.  They've averaged 3.5 runs in the last 13 games.

The Reds bats were humming until last night, and now average 6.8 runs in their last 6 games.  They laid an egg Sunday night at the Phillies as well as last night, scoring 1 run in each of the games.

Pitching matchup


Adrian Sampson (not yet pitched) makes his first major league start this season, being called up from Triple A.  He has a 4.96 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) at Triple A this year.  He last pitched for the Rangers in 2019, with a 5.89 ERA in 2019, 4.30 ERA in 2018 and 7.71 ERA in 2016 (albeit only one game in 2016).  In 2019 he had a 1.53 WHIP, with a K / BB ratio of 2.8.


Tyler Mahle (10-3, 3.58 ERA) takes the mound for the Reds.  He's having a good 2021, which is almost a mirror of his 2020, where he had a 1.15 WHIP (1.18 WHIP this season) and a 3.59 ERA.  He's pitched very well in his last two outings, going a combined 14.0 innings, giving up 9 hits, no walks and 2 earned runs.  He's faced the Cubs 3 times this season.  He got roughed up in the first game, going 5.0 innings, giving up 9 hits and 6 earned runs.  He bounced back in the next two, going a combined 10.0 innings, giving up 6 hits, 5 walks and 1 earned run.  In his career he's done very well against the Cubs, who have only hit 9 for 71 (.127 AVG) against him, albeit have 8 walks, but only 1 home run.


This line is huge, with the Reds a -325 favorite, but probably for good reason.  Sampson has a 4.96 ERA in 14 starts in Triple A this season, and Mahle has been solid lately.  The Reds bats laid an egg last night, but have been humming at the plate before that.  No doubt they're looking forward to facing the Triple A call up tonight, and it's difficult to see Sampson not getting pounded early.

PICK: Reds -1.5 (-159)

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