MLB Betting Guide for Monday 7/31/23: Do the Cubs or Reds Have the Edge at Wrigley?

If you want a large inventory of options to bet, baseball has you covered.

From moneylines to run totals to first-five-inning wagers, we have plenty of ways to bet the long, arduous MLB schedule nearly every day. Daily outlooks can be vastly different due to starting pitchers, and a wealth of advanced stats can let us know if an individual pitcher, a bullpen, or a team is due for positive -- or negative -- regression.

Using numberFire's projections as a guide, which MLB odds from FanDuel Sportsbook are most appealing today?

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated projections.

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs

Cubs Moneyline (-126)

Two teams playing quality baseball meet up tonight at Wrigley as the Chicago Cubs host the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds are coming off a series win over the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers -- a three-game set where they outscored LA by a total of nine runs -- and are 7-3 over their last 10. The Cubbies are even hotter, going 8-2 over their past 10, a streak that has given Chicago a real chance to make the postseason. This is a big series for both sides, especially the Cubs, who are 4.0 games behind the NL Central-leading Reds.

There are reasons to back Chicago in tonight's opener. Marcus Stroman is one of the biggest ones.

The veteran right-hander has been excellent in 2023. Across 125 2/3 frames, Stroman owns a 3.97 expected ERA (xERA) and 58.1% ground-ball rate. At home, he's been lights out, holding hitters to a .245 wOBA and pitching to a 3.59 expected FIP (xFIP).

Cincy is turning to southpaw Andrew Abbott, one of their many rookies who has come up and made an immediate impact in 2023. Abbott has flashed elite strikeout upside at times, but he's also giving up a ton of fly-balls (56.7% fly-ball rate). He hasn't been bad, but he's been nowhere near as good as his 1.90 ERA suggests, with his xFIP sitting at 4.29.

If Abbott is going to keep fighting off the regression monster, he'll have to overcome a Chicago offense that is absolutely raking right now, sitting second in wOBA over the past 14 games (.369). Chicago will likely pack their lineup with as many as eight righties, with Cody Bellinger probably being the lone exception.

Something else working in Chicago's favor tonight is a travel advantage. The Cubs were in St. Louis last weekend, so they didn't have a long trip to the Windy City on Sunday night. The Reds, meanwhile, had to fly in from LA -- a flight roughly three hours longer than the Cubs' trip.

The betting market has this game as a close one, with Chicago a slim -126 moneyline favorite, which implies 55.7% win odds. numberFire's model sees value on the Cubbies, projecting the Cubs to win 63.4% of the time.

San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies

Padres -1.5 (-130)

It's getting to now-or-never time for the San Diego Padres if they're going to make a run at a Wild Card spot as they're currently 5.0 games out. A series against the Colorado Rockies presents the Padres with a golden chance to start a run, and numberFire's model sees San Diego having a huge night at Coors.

San Diego is facing lefty Austin Gomber. The Padres' offense hasn't lived up to the billing this campaign, but they have been really tough on lefties, producing the fifth-best wOBA (.339) in the split. Gomber doesn't carry the profile of a hurler who is likely to keep the Padres quiet, particularly at Coors, as he's struggled to a 4.80 xFIP and 15.4% strikeout rate this year.

With righties like Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts at their disposal, the Padres could have a field day against Gomber.

San Diego is giving the ball to Seth Lugo, who has quietly been good in 2023, pitching to a 3.57 xFIP and 23.4% strikeout rate. Lugo usually does a nice job keeping the ball out of the air (32.8% fly-ball rate), and that gives him a fighting chance to survive in the altitude. The Rockies' offense helps, too, as they carry the fourth-highest strikeout rate (27.2%) in the second half and just dealt away C.J. Cron and Randal Grichuk.

numberFire's model projects the Padres to win by a score of 6.97-4.86 and gives San Diego a 59.3% chance to cover the run line.