The 2021 MLB season goes on Wednesday, August 18, so here’s the best Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds betting pick, as these two National League Central foes wrap up a three-game series at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. 

The Reds opened this set with a convincing 14-5 victory last Monday, playing as -195 home favorites on Bookmaker Sportsbook. They are listed as strong favorites Wednesday once more (the middle contest has been excluded from the analysis), as the Cubs have been in free fall since the trade deadline.

The Cubbies are a disaster on both sides of the ball  

The Chicago Cubs fell to 52-69 on the season following that heavy defeat at the Reds on Monday. It was their 12th loss on the spin and 18th over the Cubs’ previous 20 games overall. Chicago has scored 57 runs through its first 15 games in August, posting the sixth-worst OPS in the majors (.665), while on the other side of the ball, the Cubbies have registered an embarrassing 8.14 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, and a .328 batting average against.

The Cubs haven’t announced who’ll get the starting call Wednesday at Great American Ball Park. It should be a bullpen day for the Cubbies, whose relievers have registered an 8.52 ERA and 6.16 FIP over the previous 14 days of action. Their bullpen has allowed 2.54 home runs per nine innings during that stretch to go with a .354 BABIP.

The Reds continue to chase the wild card

The Cincinnati Reds improved to 65-55 on the season following Monday’s thrashing of the Cubbies, but they were still huge 7.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, who sat atop of the NL Central. The Reds continue to chase the bottom wild-card in the American League, trailing just a game and a half behind the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.

Cincinnati has won ten of its first 15 contests in August, scoring 100 runs in the process while killing it at the dish (.272/.356/.526). The Reds own the best OPS in the majors this month, while on the pitching side of things, they’ve recorded a 3.97 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and a .227 batting average against.

Tyler Mahle (10-3, 3.58 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) will toe the slab Wednesday, looking for his third straight victory. The 26-year-old right-hander hasn’t been charged for a loss since June 27, posting a 3.30 ERA over his previous seven starts. Mahle is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts against the Cubs this season.



  • 2-18 in the last 20 games overall 
  • 1-8 in the last nine games against Cincinnati  


  • 9-4 in the last 13 games overall 
  • 8-2 in the last ten outings at home
  • 4-1 in Tyler Mahle’s last five starts

Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick

The Reds own the fifth-highest scoring offense in baseball, averaging 5.12 runs per contest. They lead the majors in OPS this month and should destroy the Cubs bullpen in the closer, so give me the hosts to cover.

On the other side, the current Cubs are slashing only .142/.194/.264 in 71 at-bats against Tyler Mahle, who’s been a true ace for the Reds so far, especially in the second half of the season.

Pick: Take Cincinnati Reds -1.5 

The Total:

The opening game of the series saw 19 runs in total, and the Cubs scored all five off Wade Miley’s relievers. The Reds bullpen has registered a disappointing 4.91 ERA and 4.64 FIP over the last two weeks, and it’s been a huge issue all season long, so we should see another high-scoring affair in the Cubs vs. Reds matchup.

The over has hit in four of their previous five duels, and each one has produced 11 or more runs in total.

Pick: Go over