The Cincinnati Reds (37-37) and Chicago Cubs (31-42) will open up a National League Central series Monday night at Wrigley Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET
Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati has won two games in a row, including a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays as -138 home favorites Sunday afternoon, while going UNDER the betting total for just the second time in its last seven affairs. The Reds are averaging 5.9 runs per game and batting .284 as a team over their last 13 affairs, with first baseman Joey Votto getting the job done in 12 of those since returning from the disabled list—collecting five doubles and driving in nine runs. Cincinnati is 9-6 as road underdogs of +100 to +125 this season, with the UNDER going 9-6 in that situation.
Reds starting pitcher Alfredo Simon (10-3, 3.05 ERA) has rattled off four wins in a row, including an 11-4 road victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates last time out, as he surrendered three runs and five hits over 6.1 innings of work. The right-hander is 7-1 with a 2.66 ERA in eight road appearances, with opposing hitters batting .211 against him. Simon gave up two earned runs over 12-plus frames in a pair of wins over the Cubs in April.
Since winning eight of nine at this ballpark, Chicago has dropped three of four following a 2-1 setback to the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday. The Cubs are excited to have Wellington Castillo back in the dugout, as he’s put together a .444 batting average with three home runs in his last seven games versus the Reds. It’s also important to point out that second baseman Darwin Barney is 3-for-8 in his career versus Simon. Chicago is 6-8 at home with a money line of -100 to -125 during the 2014 campaign, with no edge in regards to the betting total (7-7 Over/Under).
Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (2-6, 2.60 ERA) has watched the club drop three of his last four trips to the mound, but he didn’t earn a decision in a 6-5 road defeat to the Miami Marlins last week. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 1.64 ERA in seven home appearances—serving up just two home runs in 49.1 combined innings. Samardzija has compiled a 0-5 record and 4.75 ERA in his last eight starts in this series.
Sports bettors will likely back the Reds due to their 19-13 record versus division opponents.