Reds vs. Cubs MLB Pick For October 1st

by Kevin Roberts
on October 1, 2017

The final day of the 2017 MLB regular season has arrived. The pickings are slim in the way of elite betting lines as we look at Sunday’s slate, but we figure to get some solid value at Wrigley Field when the visiting Cincinnati Reds take on the hated Chicago Cubs.

Everybody is locked into the playoffs at this point, with the Cubs owning first place in the division and having nothing to play for. The Reds sit in last place in the NL Central and not only have nothing to play for either but won’t be moving onto postseason play.

This puts both teams in an interesting spot. There really isn’t anything on the line, but that could limit the Cubs’ top players, while the Reds have nothing to lose as they try to finish 2017 on a high note.

It goes without saying that the Cubs are the better team, but if we’re getting a solid line with the Reds, we might want to jump on a bet that includes a less than motivated Chicago team.

Cincinnati Reds (+165)
Chicago Cubs (-175)
Total: n/a

At the time of this writing, there is a sea of MLB betting opportunities with no actual lines, but we’re getting a solid one from BetOnline. There isn’t a Total out yet, so the main bet we’re eyeing is an upset with the Reds.

Cincinnati is an underdog for a reason. They won’t even get to 70 wins when all is said and done this year, they stink on the road (28-52) and they’re limping (1-9 over their last 10 contests) to the finish line.

There’s no logical reason to get behind this team, other than the fact that they do have a lot of power in their lineup and this is their World Series to cap the year.

The Reds could have a beneficial matchup, too. Mike Montgomery (7-8, 3.45 ERA) is far from an elite arm and may not pitch deep into this game even if he fares well. There is data to suggest he won’t, as the Reds mash southpaws (10th in homers against left-handed pitching).

Cincinnati is not an efficient offense, but they’ve done enough against Montgomery across six meetings this year (forced him to a barely passable 4.03 ERA) to promote some upside via their bats.

The real question will be whether or not the Cubs put up enough of a fight with their top players. I can’t imagine a team gunning for a second straight World Series will keep their top talent in this game for long, so logic suggests we get limited Cubs stars and/or a lot of their roster fodder.

That’s likely great news for Deck McGuire (0-1, 4.15 ERA), who is one of the more inexperienced 28-year old rookies you’ll find. McGuire hasn’t completely embarrassed himself in brief duty, however, but he’s a bit of an unknown and he did get roughed up by the Brewers in three innings five days ago.

This isn’t about backing McGuire, though. It’s about Sunday being a bit of a mess for MLB betting and taking a shot at a playoff contender not really caring about how their regular season finale turns out. With some of the best upside on the board, we’re aiming high and betting the Reds show up on offense early in this one.

Pick: Cincinnati Reds to Win (+165)
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