MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview (Thursday, Aug. 13)
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony DeSclafani #28 of the Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds Odds
|Pirates Odds||+150 [BET NOW]|
|Reds Odds||-180 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||9 (-118o/-104u) [BET NOW]|
|Time||5:10 p.m. ET|
The Cincinnati Reds came up just short in their comeback attempt against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night. A win would have brought the Reds back to .500 on the season and given them four wins out of their last five games.
The Pirates have had three days off since they last played due to the postponement of their series with the Cardinals after a COVID-19 outbreak in the St. Louis clubhouse.
Those three days of rest could be just what the Pirates need if they’re to reset their season after a 3-13 start.
Cincinnati will give the ball to Anthony DeSclafani for Thursday’s start. DeSclafani is 1-0 in two starts this season and is yet to surrender a run. That streak will likely face a stern test tonight against a Pirates team that he’s struggled against throughout his career.
In 13 starts, DeSclafani is only 2-6 against the Pirates with a 4.35 ERA.
In 87 at-bats, the current Pittsburgh lineup is hitting .322 against DeSclafani with six home runs, 15 RBIs, a .375 OBP and a .609 SLG. With this kind of information on hand I’d be shocked if Pirates manager Derek Shelton doesn’t have this on the whiteboard to try to spur on his players.
My guess is that he’ll fancy his chances even more when he sees how his starting pitcher has fared against the Reds.
Trevor Williams gets the start for the Pirates on Thursday. Despite being winless on the season (0-3), he has a 3.52 ERA along with a 1.11 WHIP and 4.3 SIERA. Pirates hitters have to bear some culpability given that they’ve supplied Williams with just one run over his last three starts. In his last start against the division-leading Twins, Williams threw seven innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts.
When the opponent is the Reds, Williams has been even better going 5-1 in his career with a 2.03 ERA over nine starts. The Reds current lineup is hitting .315 with one home run, eight RBIs and a .368 OBP against Williams in 108 at-bats.
Most of that damage has been done by Joey Votto and Nick Castellanos, who have combined for 14 hits in 36 at-bats against the Pittsburgh right-hander. However, neither batter has yet to hit a home run off of Williams.
How I’m Betting This Game
The Pittsburgh Pirates opened as underdogs around +165 for today’s game. That number has been bet down to +150. It’s important to try to assess the underlying factors attributing to any market move and I think you can find some of those reasons detailed above.
Normally, you’d think that teams off an extended break would struggle with timing and rhythm, but that hasn’t necessarily been the case in 2020.
In the last four games with this situational spot, teams with at least two days of rest are 4-0 for 4.2 units. If you go back to 2017, teams in this same spot are 106-91 for 13.43 units.
It’s an even more compelling argument when you add in how Williams has performed against the Reds. With a FIP (1.85) that’s higher than his ERA (0.00), we know that DeSclafani is due for regression and the Pittsburgh bats have the track record to do just that.
The Reds at -180 seems overpriced to me, especially if the Pirates can force Cincy’s bullpen to make an early cameo in this game. Reds relievers have the second-worst ERA (7.52) and they’ve given up the third-most home runs (15).
I think Pittsburgh will come to play in this game after not being able to compete for the last three days. I’ll take the Pirates at +150 to get the win and snap their three-game losing streak.
The Pick: Pirates +150 (Play down to +140) [Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]