The Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs kickoff a weekend series on Friday afternoon as both teams fight to remain competitive in the National League Central. Hunter Greene and Justin Steele get the mound in a matchup between two young talented pitchers.
Let’s take a look at the opening Reds-Cubs odds to try and predict what value could pop up in Friday’s game to find the best MLB bet on the opening market.
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Best MLB Reds-Cubs Bet & Prediction: Value Could Emerge
Cincinnati Reds-Chicago Cubs Odds
Odds via DraftKings
Cincinnati Reds: +135 | Chicago Cubs -172
Over 8: -105 | Under 8: -155
Friday’s Reds-Cubs game is highlighted by SPs Hunter Greene and Justin Steele. Greene arrived on the scene last season for the Reds, boasting electric strikeout stuff. The 23-year old whiffed 165 batters in 125.2 IP last year. He’s off to an equally impressive start in 2023, striking out 69 batters in an even 50.0 innings. Greene has struck out 10 batters three times this campaign, including a double-digit-strikeout performance in his last outing against the New York Yankees.
Unfortunately, Greene’s swing and miss stuff has yet to translate into other statistical categories. He posted a 4.44 ERA in 2022 and has a nearly identical 4.68 ERA this year. While Greene was 2.2 Wins Above Replacement in his rookie season, he has dipped to just .7 over the first quarter of this year.
The Cubs’ Justin Steele is a different story. Steele had an excellent 2023 to the tune of a 3:18 ERA an 2.0 WAR. He has somehow improved upon those numbers, despite not being given credit as a top young arm in Major League Baseball. That has changed, and Steele is starting to get recognized. He has started the 2023 campaign off with a 2.20 ERA, a 2.3 WAR and a 6-1 overall record. The only knock on Steele is his diminished strikeout rate. He has only struck out 53 hitters across 61.1 innings.
Right now, the Reds-Cubs betting markets are just getting settled. According to OddsShopper’s market-based betting model, there’s not a ton of edge to be had on either side. Taking a snapshot of the markets as they currently stand, the best MLB bet in this game is on the Reds moneyline. Don’t get too excited, OddsShopper still sees that as a slightly negative ROI proposition.
That’s a sign to lay off now, but wait in the weeds for things to move. The Over/Under is also priced efficiently according to the model, but there has been movement down to 7 and 7.5 runs at some sportsbooks, before popping back up to eight. Keep an eye on that if you’re a top-down bettor. And of course, it’s Wrigley so be on the lookout for weather that could impact those numbers. Friday’s forecast is calling for light winds in Chicago all day, but how those affect Wrigley Field remains to be seen.
With two solid SPs on the mound and a run total that is indicating downward movement, keep an eye out for this one and you might be able to pick off an some value on the Over as sportsbooks react.
Best Reds-Cubs MLB Bet: No Overnight Value, Consider Over 7.5 Runs at -120 or Better