After a strong second half to the 2022 season that saw the Chicago Cubs go 39-31 after the All-Star Break, the team is looking to use that momentum for a big 2023 as they face the Cincinnati Reds on the road on Wednesday.
Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds (-115, 8)
Since joining the Cubs prior to the start of the 2022 season, Marcus Stroman has been one of the best pitchers in the league away from home, posting a 2.06 ERA with 0.7 home runs and 1.7 walks per nine innings.
Despite those solid road outputs, the Cubs went 5-8 in Stroman’s road starts last offseason, but signed help in the offseason to prevent a repeat.
The acquisition of All-Stars Cody Bellinger and Dansby Swanson should fortify a lineup that was 23rd among MLB teams in road batting average at .229.
The Cubs also improved a bullpen that was 21st in ERA last season with veterans Michael Fulmer and Brad Boxberger coming in after both posted sub-3.40 ERAs a season ago.
The Reds did little to aid a bullpen that was 28th in ERA a season ago and will look to young starting pitcher Hunter Greene to bounce back from allowing three runs, three walks and eight hits in 3 1⁄3 innings in his season debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day. Overall, Greene has a 4.88 ERA with 1.9 home runs and 3.9 walks per nine innings allowed.
For as much of a hitter’s park as Great American Ballpark is, the Reds’ roster does not have a single player who had more than 12 home runs last season.
With the Reds’ lineup lacking power coupled with Stroman’s road excellence, the Cubs will leave Cincinnati with a win on Wednesday.
The Play: Cubs -105