MLB Odds & Picks for Pirates vs. Reds: Bet Cincinnati to Pick Up Rare Victory
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Moustakas.
- The Cincinnati Reds take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in NL Central action Friday.
- The Reds have been abysmal to kick off the season, but they could hold some value against another lower-tier team in the Pirates.
- Nick Martin breaks down the game and shares his top betting pick below.
Pirates vs. Reds Odds
|Over/Under||9 (-114 / -106)|
|Time||6:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
This 2022 season always figured to be a tough one for the Reds, but I do not think anyone can honestly say they thought it would get this ugly this quick. On Thursday, the Reds were pummelled, 10-5, by the Brewers for what was their 12th consecutive road loss.
One of the main causes for optimism amongst Reds fans entering this season figured to be 22-year-old flamethrower Hunter Greene, but even he has been lit up of late and was crushed Thursday by Milwaukee.
Cincinnati will now send Connor Overton to the mound to take on J.T. Brubaker and the Pirates.
Has rock-bottom come for the Reds? Or will the Pirates extend the Reds’ second shocking losing streak of this young season?
What to Expect From Brubaker
Brubaker has had a rough start to the 2022 campaign, posting an 0-2 record with a 6.20 ERA and 4.27 xERA. Brubaker has been hit hard 44.8% of the time and has pitched to a walk rate of 12.8%.
Those numbers have come from an overall below-average level of competition with a number of contests coming in favorable pitching conditions.
He obviously will face a struggling team today and has better than he has shown, but the progression expected entering this season may not come to fruition as some anticipated.
Pittsburgh will get a righty matchup here against Overton. The Pirates have hit to a 91 wRC+ with a .293 wOBA throughout 622 PAs in 2022. Their xSLG of .396 is better than only four teams, which includes the 3-22 Reds.
The Pirates figured to have some below-replacement level pieces at the bottom of the order, and we are certainly seeing that early on from this group — even if Pittsburgh has shown some clear positives.
Have Reds Hit Rock Bottom?
Thursday’s contest could be viewed as a clear low point in this miserable season for the Reds or a game that had some positives.
The glass-half-full mindset would be to point out that Cincinnati managed seven hits and four earned runs off of Adrian Houser and that the process at the plate did look really respectable.
However, both teams managed a first-inning outburst with three runs apiece, and the Brewers did it against a guy who’s supposed to be the ace of Cincinnati’s staff in Greene.
It was the kind of day seen often from the club. Since April 26, Cincinnati has produced 4.0 runs per game, a respectable rate until we look at its opponents’ production. The Reds have seen opponents bat to the highest average on balls in play league-wide at .334 and own the fourth-lowest BABIP themselves at .257.
So, as you might expect, this historically bad run has come with some numbers offering natural regression.
Without Jonathan India, the Reds really don’t have much to write home about offensively, but this is still a roster that, on paper, should not be this horrifically bad by any means. A natural uptick in form is still logical.
Jake Fraley will remain sidelined, however, considering the below-replacement level numbers produced. That’s fine for us here. Joey Votto, Tyler Naquin and Nick Senzel will remain sidelined on the IL.
That’s where some may look at the situation and feel that this horrific lineup is now even thinner, but with the actual performance from that lost grouping of players so far, it’s quite conceivable the new-look order can be just as productive.
On the pitching side, Overton drew his first big league start of the season Saturday after some strong work at AAA Louisville this year in which he managed a 2.84 ERA throughout 19 innings.
The 28-year-old right-hander took advantage of his opportunity, allowing just one earned run over 5.1 innings with three hits and two walks. Overton features a quality changeup when true to form and mixed his stuff effectively Saturday, including managing an above-average QOPA of 4.52.
Cincinnati’s lineup did not project to be this incredibly far behind the Pirates’ unit entering the season. It actually projected to produce more runs by ZIPS (obviously somewhat due to Great American Ballpark), but regardless, we know it will get less dreadful.
The depleted variation of this Reds’ lineup should not play that far beyond what we have seen. I think waiting until game time, getting the best possible number and going for it in this matchup holds some value.
Overton’s debut start this season was impressive, and the stuff legitimately seemed to play. I think this is the time for Cincinnati to finally snap another outrageous streak, and I would play the Reds to win this game down to -110.
Pick: Reds ML +100
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