The Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs square off on Thursday with first pitch set for 8:05 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. Graham Ashcraft (4-1, 3.27 ERA) will get the starting nod for Cincinnati while Chicago counters with the veteran Kyle Hendricks (3-6, 4.90 ERA).
The Reds (26-48) have split games with the Cubs so far in this divisional series. They took the win on Tuesday but dropped Game 2 on Wednesday 8-3. They have a solid matchup against Hendricks so they should be able to win this series if they can jump on the veteran early. Ashcraft will be making his eighth appearance of the season and his first against Chicago. His last start saw him pitch eight innings where he gave up six hits and two earned runs while striking out eight against the San Francisco Giants. Cincinnati will return home on Friday to host the Atlanta Braves in a three-game series.
The Cubs (29-46) have split wins and losses recently, going 4-4 over their last eight games. The good news is that they haven’t lost back-to-back games, but the bad news is they haven’t been able to win back-to-back games in that stretch either. Chicago took the win on Wednesday and now give the ball to the veteran Hendricks on Thursday, who will face the Reds for the second time this season. He pitched four innings in their first meeting, giving up five hits and four earned runs while only striking out one. Once this series wraps, the Cubs will welcome the Boston Red Sox to town for a three-game set starting on Friday.
Reds vs. Cubs
Pitchers: Graham Ashcraft vs. Kyle Hendricks
First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
Reds local broadcast: Bally Sports Ohio
Cubs local broadcast: Marquee Sports Network
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Chicago -1.5
Run total: 10
Moneyline odds: Cincinnati +105, Chicago -125
Moneyline pick: Cincinnati +105
The Reds got to Hendricks earlier this season, and he hasn’t really shown any reason to think it won’t happen again. The Reds are close to being able to move out of last place in the NL Central for the first time since the beginning of the season. With the Braves coming to town, they really need the momentum heading into that series. I think they pick up the series win on Thursday to spark that momentum.
Player prop pick: Joey Votto over 0.5 hits (-260)
Votto has the handedness matchup against the right-hander Kyle Hendricks. These two have had many battles in their careers and Votto is 15 for 38 against him with three doubles, a rare triple, and five home runs. Votto’s career is winding down but is playing better since returning from injury. On Wednesday, he went 2-4 with two doubles and is 4-13 over his last three games. He should tally at least one hit on Thursday.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), ConnexOntario 1-866-531-2600 (ONT), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ NH/WY; 19+ ONT). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/ONT/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions. DraftKings operates pursuant to an Operating Agreement with iGaming Ontario. Please play responsibly.