Josh Smith (0-2, 7.23 ERA) and Dan Haren (9-9, 3.83 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Cincinnati Reds (63-93) and the Chicago Cubs (91-65) at the Great American Ball Park. The Reds come into this series hoping to snap a nine-game losing streak. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sep. 29 and can be seen on CSCh and FSOH.
Smith pitched 5.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering three runs, striking out five and walking one in a 6-4 defeat to the Mets. Joey Votto (.318, 94 Rs, 29 HRs, 78 RBIs, 11 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. Haren went 4.1 innings, surrendering one and striking out two in an 8-3 defeat to the Cardinals in his last outing. Kris Bryant (.281, 86 Rs, 26 HRs, 99 RBIs, 13 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Chicago takes on Cincinnati as a -129 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at eight runs. The Reds have recorded an overall money line of -2,625 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 34-66. Cincinnati has recorded a disappointing 2-7 record as the underdog over its last 10 games. Cincinnati leads the MLB in steals, swiping 131 bases. Cincinnati's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 6.9 runs per game, well above its season average of 4.6. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Reds, who rank fifth in the NL in strikeouts per home game with 8.5.
As for their opponent, Chicago is coming in with an overall money line of +1,057 and an impressive record of 65-38 as the favorite. They have been playing solid baseball as favorite with a 27-15 record against NL Central opponents, and a 40-30 record SU. Offensively, they average four runs per game on the road, which is third in the NL. Chicago is excellent at drawing walks with 3.5 per game, ranking second in the NL. Chicago's pitching staff is one of the top in the NL, with a 3.49 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Cubs are the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.17 for the season. The Cubs have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.5 strikeouts per road game.
The Cubs lead the season series, 10-6. The Reds have a 49-69 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Haren takes the mound. Smith (RHP) will be on the hill against the Cubs, who have a 72-51 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC, O/U - Over
The Reds are 32-38 against their divisional rivals, while the Cubs are 40-30 against their division.
Chicago won its last game in a shutout, its 20th of the season. Cincinnati has been shut out 12 times this season.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Reds are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Cubs have a 36-1 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
The Cubs are coming into the game with two consecutive wins, while the Reds currently have a losing streak of nine.
When they outhit their opponents, the Reds are 48-18. The Cubs have a 62-9 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 24th, Cincinnati is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 626 this season. Chicago ranks in the bottom half at 17th with 660.
Ranking eighth, Cincinnati is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 485 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at third with 540.
When the Reds hit at least one home run, they are 54-45. When the Cubs hit at least one homer, they have a 65-28 record.