Rubber Game of Series
The Chicago Cubs go for a second straight win when they take on the visiting Cincinnati Reds in the last of a three-game series between National League Central rivals on Thursday night. Chicago took the second game of the series on Wednesday and is in fourth place in the division, one game behind the third-place Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cincinnati had a two-game winning streak snapped with Wednesday’s loss and now trails the Cubs by 2½ games in the NL Central. These two teams have been fairly even this season, so before you make your bet online on the series finale, read our in-depth preview of the game.
Reds Look to Rookie Ashcraft
The Cincinnati Reds have some good young talent on their roster, and one of those talented youngsters is 24-year-old right-hander Graham Ashcraft, who will make his eighth major league start on Thursday. Ashcraft is 4-1 with a 3.27 ERA over 41.1 innings in the majors, striking out 27 and walking seven.
Ashcraft won his last start against the San Francisco Giants on Friday, going eight innings and allowing two runs on six hits while striking out eight and walking none. He has given up a home run in four of his last five starts, but he’s also shown a lot since getting called up in late May.
Third baseman Brandon Drury was 2-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored in Wednesday’s loss, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Drury is batting .279 with 14 doubles, a triple, 16 home runs, 40 RBIs and 48 runs scored.
First baseman Joey Votto was 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored on Wednesday. It’s the second time in three games that he’s hit two doubles, which accounts for his last four hits. He’s batting .214 with 15 doubles, a triple, five home runs, 24 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
Cubs’ Morel Shows Off Arm
The Chicago Cubs know they have a good young player in outfielder Christopher Morel, who showed off his arm in a key play in Wednesday night’s win over the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs were up 1-0 but the Reds had the bases loaded and Cincinnati outfielder Tommy Pham tried to score from third base on a flyout.
Morel threw a laser to catcher Willson Contreras to cut down Pham at the plate, getting the Cubs out of the jam and exciting the entire team.
“I really did not want that run to score,” Cubs pitcher Justin Steele said after Wednesday’s win. “That was pretty sick for him to throw him out there. I was pretty fired up there. It was pretty cool to watch.”
Morel also had a home run in the win, driving in two runs and scoring twice. The 23-year-old rookie is batting .261 with nine doubles, two triples, six home runs, 18 RBIs and 27 runs scored.
Contreras also went deep in the victory, giving him 13 home runs, the most among major league catchers. He’s batting .280 with 16 doubles, a triple, 34 RBIs and 42 runs scored.
Chicago will have right-hander Kyle Hendricks on the mound for the series finale. Hendricks is 3-6 with a 4.90 ERA, striking out 55 in 75.1 innings over 14 starts. He’s coming off a brilliant performance against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, throwing 7.1 shutout innings and allowing just five hits while striking out six and walking one.
Reds vs Cubs Head-To-Head
These two rivals have split their first six meetings this season, which is typical of this rivalry. Since the start of the 2020 campaign, the Cincinnati Reds have a slight 18-17 advantage over the Chicago Cubs in head-to-head play.
The two teams split 10 games in Wrigley Field a season ago and each has 12 wins in the last 24 games played at Wrigley Field. The MLB lines for Thursday night’s game are giving the edge to the home team, likely because of the veteran Hendricks on the mound.
Reds vs Cubs Game Information
- Game: Reds (26-48) vs Cubs (29-46)
- Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago
- Day/Time: Thursday, 8:05 p.m. ET
- Reds vs Cubs Live Stream: MLB.TV
Reds vs Cubs Betting Lines
|Cincinnati Reds |
G. Ashcraft -R
|+1½ -190||+107||10 -115o||4½ -105o |
|Chicago Cubs |
K. Hendricks -R
|-1½ +160||-117||10 -105u||4½ -120o |
Reds vs Cubs Prediction
Hendricks has been up and down this season, but if his last outing is any indication, the Cincinnati Reds could have their troubles against him on Thursday. Look for the Chicago Cubs to ride the momentum of Wednesday’s win to another victory in the series finale.
When making your MLB picks, take Chicago to get the win at home.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.