Reds vs. Cubs prediction and odds for Monday, July 31 (Trust Stroman?)

Marcus Stroman has had two awful starts in a row, but he'll have a bounce back tonight against Andrew Abbott who is due to regress for Cincinnati.

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0)
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

It was a good weekend for the Cincinnati Reds who took two of three from the Dodgers, but it was even better for the Chicago Cubs who took three of four from the Cardinals and hopefully convinced their front office to keep the team together through the deadline. That seemingly means Marcus Stroman is staying put on the 53-52 Cubs who are four games behind the 58-49 Reds in the division and he will make his 23rd start tonight. 

Stroman is 10-7 with a 3.51 ERA this year and will be opposed by the left-handed rookie, Andrew Abbott who is 6-2 in 10 starts with the Reds with a 1.90 ERA. The Reds might be leading the division, but they’re underdogs at Wrigley Field tonight. 

Reds vs. Cubs odds, run line and total

Reds vs. Cubs prediction and pick

Andrew Abbott has been a revelation for Cincinnati in the team's starting rotation. In his last two starts he’s gone eight innings of one-hit shutout ball against the Giants and then six scoreless against the Brewers, but regression is looming for Abbott.

Abbott has a 3.75 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) which makes me wary of a step back in the near future. 10 starts is where we start to get a real sample size of what he is as a pitcher and it’s very good, but he’s already allowed eight home runs. On June 21, Abbott gave up three homers to the Rockies, but they were all solo shots. Then two starts later, he allowed a solo homer and that was the only run he gave up in a start that went 7.2 innings. Two starts after that he allowed two home runs, again, both solo shots. Sandwiched in between those two July 7 is an outing that will start to look more familiar for the rookie. 

Abbott gave up two home runs to the Brewers and allowed six runs over 4.2 innings. It’s almost pure luck that there hasn’t been anyone on base for this many of the home runs Abbott has allowed. He is 52nd percentile in walk rate, so it’s not like the base paths are always clear. He also has a .225 BABIP which will start to rise because water always finds its level in baseball. 

Cody Bellinger has seven of his home runs off lefties and so does Patrick Wisdom. The Cubs will knock around Abbott today and will beat the Reds behind a good start from Marcus Stroman who just experienced some statistical regression in his last two starts. 

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