Reds vs. Cubs prediction and odds for Wednesday, August 2 (Cubs Keep Crushing)

The Chicago Cubs are barely over .500, but they could make an even bigger statement by winning this series and eventually take the divsion crown.

Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson (7)
Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds took Game 1 of this series, but the Chicago Cubs responded with authority. Yesterday, Chicago took a 20-9 win over Cincy to get to 54-53 and four games back of the Reds who are leading the NL Central. Today is Game 3 of four in this series that could be crucial in crowning a division champion in two months. 

The Cubs will look to back up that performance with Drew Smyly on the mound today against Brandon Williamson. Smyly is 8-7 with a 4.50 ERA this year and Williamson is 3-2 with a 4.48 ERA. 

Let’s check out the odds for another NL Central rivalry as the Cubs look to get the upper hand in the series.

Reds vs. Cubs odds, run line and total

Reds vs. Cubs prediction and pick

The records may not say it, but the Cubs are better than the Reds. The Cubs are honestly the best team in the NL Central. They are the only team in the Central with a positive run differential and are fifth in the entire MLB at +67. Run differential isn’t everything, but it’s pretty hard to be fifth in run differential and 74 runs better than the next closest team in your division and not win the division. 

I’m taking that logic into pretty much all of my Cubs related bets in the second half of the year and it’s been successful considering the Cubs have won 11 of their last 14 games with seven of those wins coming against divisional opponents. I bet the Cubs to win the division at the All-Star break and will keep backing them against NL Central opponents. 

The Reds hit lefties well with Spencer Steer and Matt McLain, but over the past 30 days they are 14th in team OPS while the Cubs are first. Cincinnati will be able to score a few runs off Drew Smyly, but in the past 30 days no team has scored more runs than the Cubs. It helps that they scored 20 yesterday with three hits from Cody Bellinger and two home runs from Dansby Swanson, but even if you take away all 20 of those runs they still have the most over the past 30 days. 

The Reds pitching staff keeps getting better, but clearly it’s not good enough to slow down the Cubs, so give me Chicago to win back-to-back games.

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change