Pirates vs Reds

Pirates vs Reds | Cincinnati Has Dominated Series

The Cincinnati Reds have had little trouble beating the NL Central rival Pittsburgh Pirates in the first six meetings this season as the teams open a series in Cincinnati on Thursday. The Reds are favored on the MLB odds.

How to Bet Pirates at Reds MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Pittsburgh?

This is Pittsburgh’s first trip back to the Queen City since April 5-7. It will also be the first time the two teams meet since a three-game series at PNC Park from May 10-12.

I just want to share this statistic about the Pirates’ unlikely comeback win in Milwaukee on Tuesday. The Pirates became the first team in the modern era to play on the road while facing a first-place team while getting no-hit through six innings while trailing by four-plus runs through six innings and come back and win the game.

Reliever David Bednar picked up his third win of the season Tuesday after retiring all six of the batters he faced in the final two innings. Since the beginning of last month, Bednar has been scored upon once, posting a 0.69 ERA (13.0ip/1er), .182 batting average against and 0.92 WHIP in 12 games.

The Pirates are just playing out the string otherwise and are thin in the rotation with both Chad Kuhl and Chase De Jong on the injured list. It’s Wil Crowe on the mound for the Bucs. Crowe (3-5) held the Phillies to one hit over six innings in the Pirates’ 7-0 victory last Friday. Chasen Shreve and Duane Underwood Jr. finished up the one-hit shutout. Crowe gave up a lot of hard contact, but a lot of it was on the ground and the defense was up to the task.

“End goal is six scoreless,” Crowe said, “and that’s probably the first time I’ve had a scoreless outing in a long time.”

Crowe hadn’t allowed fewer than two earned runs in any of his outings since April 25, but he worked through some command issues to earn his second straight win. The righty only tossed 53 of his 92 pitches for strikes and got into some trouble when he issued three walks in the top of the fourth inning, but he still kept the Phillies from crossing the plate.  Across three starts since the All-Star break, Crowe has recorded a 3.24 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 16.2 innings. His season ERA is 5.40.

Crowe knows that he’s at his best when his mindset is “get the ball and go,” but it is a little easier said than done to quickly fall into that mode at first pitch.

“With the start of the game, you don’t want to get too fast and be go, go, go, and so you kind of throttle it back because you don’t want to get into bad mechanics by being go, go, go,” Crowe said.

Why Bet on Cincinnati?

All-Star outfielder Nick Castellanos could come off the injured list on Thursday.  Castellanos, who leads the National League with a .329 batting average, hasn’t started a game since he was hit by a pitch on his right wrist on July 16. He’s been on the 10-day injured since July 22 when an MRI showed a microfracture in his wrist.

“If you watch him, he’s hitting the ball hard, but there is just a different level of strength,” Manager David Bell said this week after watching Castellanos take batting practice. “One of the concerns when you have a hand injury is you probably can get by if you don’t have equal strength in your hand, but what happens is you start compensating and your swing can change. We just wanted to make sure it’s all the way back to full strength so when he comes back, he doesn’t have to worry about that.”

Fellow outfielder Tyler Naquin got Wednesday off but simply for rest and should be in there for this one. Naquin is hitting a respectable .267 since the All-Star break, but he’s failed to hit a home run and has provided eight RBI, six runs and a stolen base in 17 games over that stretch.

Sonny Gray (3-6) gets the call on the mound for Cincinnati. Gray racked up seven strikeouts over six innings of one-run baseball in a victory over the Mets last Friday. Gray allowed just five hits and one walk. The only damage that was done against him came on an RBI single by Jeff McNeil in the opening inning. The right-hander generated 10 swings and misses on the night and posted a CSW of 31 percent. It was a nice bounce-back from his last outing where he gave up eight runs while recording only four outs against the Cardinals.

Gray celebrated not being dealt at the trade deadline by delivering his fifth quality start of the season and only his second since the beginning of June. He has a 4.26 ERA and 1.38 WHIP this year.

Gray attacks batters with two different breaking pitches, and they each have their own separate benefits. His high-spin curveball is primarily used to drop in for called strikes. He generates an impressive 32.7% CSW% on such pitches. On the other hand, the slider is where he generates his whiffs out of the zone. Batters have swung at 40.4% of sliders thrown by Gray, despite the pitch having just a 28.4% zone rate. It would not be as effective without the existence of his curveball.

Gray is 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA in seven career starts vs. Pittsburgh.

Game Trends

  • Pirates are 0-7 in the last 7 meetings in Cincinnati.
  • Pirates are 1-9 in the last 10 meetings.
  • Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
  • Over is 7-0 in Pirates last 7 Thursday games.
  • Over is 7-3 in Reds last 10 home games.

Expert MLB Prediction

Reds 5, Pirates 3

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