Cincinnati Reds vs Chi. Cubs Picks and Predictions June 9th 2024

Cincinnati Reds vs Chi. Cubs Cubs MLB Sun, Jun 9, 13:40 pm.
Cincinnati Reds
ML: 119
2
4
Chi. Cubs Cubs
ML: -129
-

Reds Aim for 4-Game Sweep of Cubs Amid Winning Streak

The Cincinnati Reds are on the brink of completing a rare four-game sweep against the Chicago Cubs, riding high on a seven-game winning streak. This game is a big deal for the Reds, as a win would bring them to a .500 record for the first time since early in the season. Meanwhile, the Cubs are grappling with offensive issues and defensive missteps, making this matchup critical for both teams.

Reds’ Surge and Key Performances

Recent Winning Streak

The Reds have been on a roll, winning 12 of their last 15 games. This hot streak has lifted them from the bottom of the National League Central to second place, right behind the Milwaukee Brewers. They’ve shown resilience in close games, with their latest win marking their third one-run victory in just eight days.

Two-Out Scoring Efficiency

One of the Reds’ biggest strengths has been their ability to score with two outs. Out of the 33 runs they scored during their winning streak, 33 came with two outs. Manager David Bell highlighted this determination, saying, “The inning’s never over, the game’s never over. You just keep playing the game.”

Standout Players

  • Justin Wilson: The reliever locked down his first save since 2019, showcasing the depth and reliability of the Reds’ bullpen.
  • Elly De La Cruz and Spencer Steer: Their aggressive baserunning and timely hitting have kept the pressure on the Cubs’ defense.

Cubs’ Struggles and Key Challenges

Offensive Woes

The Cubs’ offense has been struggling, especially with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-14 in these situations during Saturday’s game. This inefficiency has been a major factor in their inability to close out games. Manager Craig Counsell emphasized the need for adjustments, especially for younger players like Miguel Amaya, who has faced tough times in critical moments.

Defensive Issues

Catching has been a problem for the Cubs, with both veteran Yan Gomes and prospect Miguel Amaya struggling to contain the Reds’ aggressive baserunning. This has allowed Cincinnati to exploit defensive weaknesses and create more scoring opportunities.

Pitching Matchup: Frankie Montas vs. Shota Imanaga

Frankie Montas’ Performance

Right-hander Frankie Montas will start for the Reds, bringing a 3-4 record and a 4.00 ERA. Montas has been particularly sharp recently, allowing just one hit over seven shutout innings in his last start against Colorado. His ability to control the game from the mound will be crucial as he makes his first career start against the Cubs.

Shota Imanaga’s Role

The Cubs will counter with left-hander Shota Imanaga, who has been one of their most reliable pitchers with a 5-1 record and a 1.88 ERA. Despite a recent rough patch, including a rain-delayed game against the White Sox and a tough outing against the Brewers, Imanaga has generally performed well. This will be his first career start against Cincinnati.

Head-to-Head and Player Matchups

Previous Encounters

Both Montas and Imanaga are making their first career starts against their respective opponents, adding an element of unpredictability to the game. The performance of key players like Elly De La Cruz, who has been aggressive on the bases, will be crucial in exploiting any weaknesses.

Key Performers to Watch

  • Frankie Montas: His recent form and ability to control the game will be essential for the Reds.
  • Shota Imanaga: As the Cubs’ ace, his performance will be key to their chances of avoiding a sweep.
  • Elly De La Cruz and Spencer Steer: Their baserunning and timely hitting will be pivotal for the Reds.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Reds’ two-out scoring: Their ability to capitalize with two outs has been a significant factor in their recent success.
  2. Cubs’ struggles: Offensive inefficiencies and defensive issues have plagued the Cubs, hindering their performance.
  3. Pitching duel: The performances of Montas and Imanaga will be crucial in the series finale.

Conclusion

The series finale between the Reds and Cubs is set to be a crucial game. The Reds, fueled by Rowdy Tellez’s resurgence and Jared Jones’ consistent pitching, have the momentum. In contrast, the Cubs need to break out of their offensive slump and tighten up their defense to avoid a sweep. The pitching duel between Montas and Imanaga will be a key factor in determining the outcome.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Sat, Jun 8, 22:52 pm.
spread
moneyline
over/under
Cincinnati Reds
+1.5
-145
119
O 9
-115
Chi. Cubs Cubs
-1.5
125
-129
U 9
-105
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

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Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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