MLB betting odds, props & picks: How to bet on Thursday's Reds-Cubs Field of Dreams game – Sporting News





MLB returns to Iowa for the second-ever Field of Dreams game on Thursday. Last season, we witnessed a back-and-forth, high-scoring affair between the White Sox and Yankees that ended in a walk-off fashion. While neither the Cubs nor Reds are competing for playoff spots in 2022, bettors still have an opportunity to make the Field of Dreams game a bit more intriguing if they choose to get some action down on the game.
Below, we’ll break down the current moneyline and over/under odds before providing some betting advice to aid in your handicapping of the game.
With veteran lefty Drew Smyly (4-6, 3.97 ERA, 4.25 xFIP) on the bump for Chicago, the Cubs opened up as short favorites. Smyly’s coming off his best start of the season in the Cubs’ 4-0 victory over the Marlins last Saturday (6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB). While he was no doubt efficient, it hasn’t been hard to hold the Marlins’ offense in check, as they rank last in wRC+ (64) over the past month. 
Cincinnati’s offense is also below the league average in wRC+ over the past month (88), but it’s been more reliable than Miami’s. The Reds will turn to rookie lefthander Nick Lodolo (3-3, 4.40 ERA, 3.72 xFIP), as he makes his 10th career start. Lodolo was Cincinnati’s No. 2 prospect in ’21 behind Hunter Greene, and the 6-6, 205-pound lefty projects to be a top-of-the-rotation starter in the near future. Lodolo’s ability to generate swings-and-misses (77th percentile in whiff rate) makes him a bit of an undervalued commodity in the betting markets. The stuff is there, but he still needs to figure out how to get professional hitters out on a consistent basis, as his xERA sits in just the 39th percentile. 
Betting advice: The Cubs were really only priced as short favorites due to them having a better season-long winning percentage while possessing a 4-3 head-to-head win-loss record over the Reds this season. Given the variance in one game of baseball, that record holds little merit, as this game is as pick ’em as it gets. The Reds moneyline has been bet down 10 cents as the odds reflect what this game should really be priced at. Therefore, wagering on the moneyline doesn’t provide a betting edge at the moment. Pass at the current numbers.
The total for the Field of Dreams game is currently set at 9 runs after opening up at 7.5 runs. Given the hitter-friendly dimensions of the park coupled with the fireworks we saw in the last Field of Dreams game, the opening total of 7.5 runs was too low. At 9 runs, the market has correctly assessed how this game should be priced.
Betting advice: Wagering on OVER 7.5 runs at -120 odds was a worthwhile betting opportunity. Since that number is long gone, the current total doesn’t provide a worthwhile betting opportunity pregame.
Thank goodness for live betting, though. IF the first few innings of the Field of Dreams game are low scoring (no more than 3 runs scored through the first five innings) a live betting opportunity could arise when the live over/under gets back down to 7.5 runs or fewer.
The Cubs got rid of the majority of their high-leverage relief arms at the trade deadline, and as a result, we could see a good deal of runs scored once Smyly exits the game. The Reds bullpen isn’t great either as they own the league’s highest bullpen ERA (5.04). If Lodolo exits the game in, let’s say, the fifth inning, a live bet on the over could be worth a look.
While we wanted to provide a worthwhile betting opportunity, the betting market has priced this game accordingly. Sometimes the best bets are the ones you don’t make.
With Lodolo’s total number of recorded outs sitting at 17.5, a wager on the UNDER is a worthwhile betting opportunity. He’s completed six innings in just two of his nine starts and given he sits in the 23rd percentile in walk rate, a high pitch count could chase him from the game prior to completing six full innings. Lodolo had a 4:4 K-to-BB rate in his last outing against the Brewers and if he allows at least three-plus walks again, it could result in David Bell motioning to his bullpen before the sixth.
In the over/under hits markets, you’ll see the bigger-named players priced north of two dollars (-200) to record a hit. Velazquez, a 23-year-old rookie outfielder, isn’t one of those guys but he’ll likely be in the Cubs’ starting lineup with Chicago facing a lefty. Velazquez will also be hitting towards the bottom of the Cubs lineup, but he’s been able to hit sinkers well this season (.310 xBA, 46.2 hard hit percentage). Lodolo’s go-to pitch is his sinker (57.6 percent usage rate) and there’s a chance Velazquez is able to put a barrel on one of them tonight.

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