Reds at Cubs Fantasy Betting Preview

The NL Central has gotten increasingly tight as the season goes on. The Cincinnati Reds remain at the bottom of the division, but have much improved since a slow start. Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs are fighting for the pennant and need to win games like this against inferior competition come July 6.

Pitching matchup

Tyler Mahle (6-6, 3.83 ERA) is coming off of a 5.2-inning, 12-strikeout performance last week. He hasn’t lost a game since May 20. Since then, Mahle has thrown 38 innings and allowed 12 runs in seven starts.

Mike Montgomery (3-2, 3.55 ERA) has been quite dependable since joining Chicago’s rotation in late May. In those seven starts, he has lasted at least five innings and allowed no more than four runs. The southpaw won’t rack up the strikeouts, but he probably won’t implode either.

Better play: Mahle

The Cubs have the best lineup in the National League, so this will be a tall task for the 23-year-old starter. But he has more upside than Montgomery as he strikes out more than one batter per inning.

Who should start

  • Adam Duvall has been in and out of the Reds lineup, but his career batting line of 4-for-14 with a double and a home run against Montgomery should earn him a start.
  • Jason Heyward remains available in over 70 percent of ESPN leagues. The outfielder hit .327/.364/.510 in June and shows no signs of slowing down. Pick him up!

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Who should sit

  • Billy Hamilton feels like he should be so much better. Perhaps that happens someday, but it won’t be today as the speedster is 3-for-18 in his career against Montgomery.
  • Anthony Rizzo has gone 0-for-5 against Mahle in his career. It may mean nothing in the first baseman’s up and down season, but there are more reliable first baseman available.

Prediction

Cubs to win, Chicago is one of the best home teams in the league. Montgomery will almost certainly give a solid five innings, and then it’s up to their ridiculous bullpen to close things out.

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