Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds

Daniel Collins

Written by: Daniel Collins

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The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are Major League Baseball rivals that compete in the Central Division in the National League. The two Midwest rivals have been playing games since 1890, making it one of the longest-running rivalries in baseball history. Both teams have had four different team names during their franchise history, but they are most commonly known as the Reds and Cubs.

Cincinnati has been the much better franchise in this rivalry, but the Cubs are the more popular team. Both the Reds and Cubs enjoy playing in two of the best baseball cities in America, and the fans pack their respective stadiums despite how the team is performing. The Cubs have been the much more dominant team of late, but the Reds look to be a much improved team heading into the 2019 regular season. There is no love lost between these two teams and their fans, and odds are that the rivalry will intensify this season.

History of Cubs and Reds Rivalry

The first meeting between these two rivals took place on April 19, 1890, when the Chicago Colts beat the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 5-4. The Cubs and Reds have played a total of 2,301 games that have not ended in a tie, and Chicago holds a 1,164-1,137 lead in the all-time standings. Home teams have dominated in this series, with the Reds winning 53.5 percent of the games played in Cincinnati and the Cubs winning 54.6 percent of the games played in Chicago. Remarkably, the Cubs and Reds have never met in the postseason, but that is sure to change as both teams are two of the most successful teams in baseball history.

The Chicago Cubs can trace their history all the way back to 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings. The White Stockings joined the National League as a charter member in 1876, and they have been members of the league ever since. The team named was officially changed to the Cubs in 1903, and the Cubs began playing games at Wrigley Field in 1914, although it had a few other names.

The Cubs were one of the most dominant teams in the National League through the 1945 season, but then things took a turn for the worse. Chicago wouldn’t reach the World Series again until 2016, winning a thrilling seven-game series over the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs won back-to-back Central Division titles in 2016 and 2017, and they just missed out on 2018. Ernie Banks and Billy Williams are two of the best players in Cubs history.

The Cincinnati Reds joined the National League in 1890 after originally competing in the American Association from 1881-1889. Unlike the Cubs, Cincinnati did not find immediate success, but they started to become on of the league’s best around the time of the Great Depression. Cincinnati won the World Series in 1919 and 1940 but then went through a long stretch of losing baseball.

Odds are that you have heard of the “Big Red Machine,” which was the nickname given to the Reds’ teams in the 1970’s. Led by Johnny Bench and Pete Rose, the Cincinnati Reds were the top team in the National League seemingly every season. The Reds won their final World Series title in 1990 and haven’t been a National League power for much of this century. The 2019 Reds look like a much stronger team, and it’s easy to make a prediction that the Reds will once again return to glory.

Head to Head Comparison of Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds

The Chicago Cubs might have the lead in the head to head series against the Reds, but Cincinnati has been the much more successful franchise. The Reds have won five World Series titles, with their last victory coming during the 1990 season. Chicago has won just three World Series Championships, and of course won the title back in 2016. The Cubs have won 17 National League pennants to just nine for the Reds, but Cincinnati has been much better when playing in the Fall Classic.

Since the two teams moved to the National League Central Division in 1994, the Reds have three division championships while the Cubs have five. Both the Reds and Cubs have spent much of this time trying to chase down the St. Louis Cardinals in the division. Cincinnati is represented in the Hall of Fame by 10 players, while the Cubs have 15 players wearing their logo on their cap in Cooperstown. There is no doubt that the Cubs and Reds are two of the best franchises in Major League Baseball history, and odds are that they will continue to win championships in the future.

Quick Glance at the Last 20 Games Between Cubs and Reds

Looking back at the last 20 games between the Cubs and Reds will take us back to the final regular-season game of the 2017 season. The Cubs have been the class of the National League during this span, so it is easy to make a prediction that the Cubs would dominate this rivalry. Predictions don’t always reflect what happens on the field, and Chicago actually went just 11-9 over the Reds during that span.

Cincinnati managed to win five straight games against the Cubs in 2018, but the Cubs responded by winning eight straight against their rival. The Cubs managed to score 92 runs in their past 20 games against the Reds, while Cincinnati managed just 69 runs during that span. The rivals were close in games won, but the Cubs were clearly the more dominant team. Cincinnati went 6-3 at their home ballpark, while the Cubs responded by going 8-3 at historic Wrigley Field.

Detailed Series Splits For Cubs-Reds Rivalry

The Cubs have held a slim lead in the head to head rivalry over the Reds, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story. Looking at the betting odds in this matchup can help a bettor make predictions for what might happen during the 2019 regular season. The Chicago Cubs were 1.5 point favorites in every single matchup against the Reds in the last 20 games. Chicago managed to cover the spread just seven times, while the Reds were the correct pick a whopping 13 times.

The over/under lines can also help us see how much scoring these two teams do when playing each other. The Cubs and Reds had one “push” when the total was set at 9.0 runs on May 18, 2018. The other 19 games saw the Cubs and Reds go under 11 times, while the over hit just eight times. Keep a close eye on these odds during the 2019 season, and hopefully you are able to make some correct predictions for what will happen.