Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs Preview, Predictions & Best Bets for Monday, July 31

Daily MLB preview, predictions and best bets for Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs on Monday, July 31, 2023.

Date & TimeMonday, July 29, 8:05 P.M. Eastern
MoneylineCincinnati Reds (+100) vs. Chicago Cubs (-120)
RunlineReds +1.5 (-200)/Cubs -1.5 (+165)
TotalOver 8 (-110)/Under 8 (-110)
WhereWrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Weather79 degrees, almost no chance of rain

The Cincinnati Reds are on top of the NL Central for the moment, but one object is growing larger in their rearview mirror: the Chicago Cubs.

Chicago’s been on fire since the All-Star break and now stands only four games out of first place as August approaches. The two teams meet for a three-game set at Wrigley Field this week.

Cincinnati Reds Preview

It was a big weekend for the Reds, who retook first place in the NL Central in grand fashion.

Cincinnati took two of three from the Dodgers in Los Angeles, highlighted by a 9-0 victory on Sunday. The young middle infield (SS Elly De La Cruz and 2B Matt McLain) had big days, De La Cruz going 4-for-5 with a home run and McLain adding a long ball of his own, while 1B Joey Votto added his ninth home run since his June return to the lineup.

Most encouraging, however, was the starting pitching of Graham Ashcraft who went six shutout innings against the powerful Dodgers.

On Monday, Andrew Abbott will attempt to repeat the feat against a hot Chicago lineup. Abbott (6-2, 1.90 ERA) outdueled Corbin Burnes last week and looks to slow Chicago’s bats. A strong outing in this one may quell Cincinnati’s concerns about their starting pitching before the trade deadline.

Chicago Cubs Preview

As we discussed last week, Chicago has the best offense in baseball since the All-Star break, and the biggest reason is OF Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger is slugging .603 in his last 15 games and leading the way for the resurgent Cubs, who’ve also enjoyed recent hot streaks from IF Nico Hoerner and LF Ian Happ.

Chicago’s offense slowed just a bit this past weekend when despite winning two out of three from the Cardinals, they managed only eight total runs over the three games, culminating in a shutout loss Sunday.

On Monday the Cubs will send veteran right hander Marcus Stroman to the hill. A subject of trade rumors until the recent Chicago hot streak, Stroman (10-7, 3.51 ERA) has struggled particularly in his last two starts, failing to make it through the fourth inning against the Cardinals and White Sox respectively.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs Predictions 07/31/2023

The Cubs are the hottest offense since the break, but a matchup with Abbott isn’t what they need off a shutout loss.

Abbott hasn’t allowed an earned run over 14 innings in his last two starts, racking up 15 Ks in the process. The lefthander’s breakout season is approaching a critical juncture, when Cincinnati will need to decide how many more innings the 24-year-old can handle.

Regardless, he’s the man Cincinnati wants on the hill to keep the good times rolling after the weekend in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Chicago has to hope Stroman can regain his form against a deep, talented Reds lineup.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs Best Bet 07/31/2023

Our Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs pick for July 31, 2023 is Chicago Cubs over Cincinnati Reds in the first 5 innings.

Pick: Chicago Cubs over Cincinnati Reds First 5 Innings (+105)

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