Pirates vs. Reds Odds, Preview, Prediction: How To Bet Luis Castillo and Cincinnati (Wednesday, September 22)

Pirates vs. Reds Odds, Preview, Prediction: How To Bet Luis Castillo and Cincinnati (Wednesday, September 22) article feature image
Credit:

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Castillo.

  • The Reds (-235) are a heavy favorite on Wednesday afternoon against the lowly Pirates.
  • Cincinnati is fighting to stay in the playoff hunt, while Pittsburgh is much closer to the No. 1 pick in next year's draft.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick below.

Pirates vs. Reds Odds

Pirates Odds +195
Reds Odds -240
Over/Under 8.5
Time 12:35 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Cincinnati Reds are clinging to their postseason hopes and hope to keep any semblance of hope alive by beating up on the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Luis Castillo is one of the more volatile pitchers in the league. He will start for the Reds on Wednesday night and at his peak, he looks like a National League Cy Young Award contender. At his valleys, he will yield eight runs.

Castillo is scheduled to start opposite Pirates right-hander Miguel Yajure, who has been weak the last two months. Expect that to continue against Pittsburgh’s division rival.

Let’s dive into how to bet the Reds here.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Miguel Yajure has to face one of the stronger hitting teams against right-handed pitching on Wednesday night.

Yajure typically throws a cutter around 86 mph and a four-seamer around 91. Against similar pitches since Aug. 1, the Reds have a .357 xwOBA. They even hit changeups well (.331 xwOBA), which happens to be Yajure’s best off-speed option.

The Pirates rank second-last since Aug. 1 in wRC+ against righties, on the other hand. Their lineup is top-heavy, led by Yoshi Tsutsugo, Bryan Reynolds and Anthony Alford. Pittsburgh is missing Jacob Stallings, however, who is their next best hitter lately when a righty is on the hill. This leaves three competent hitters and with Castillo having it together on the mound, the expectation is not encouraging.

The Pirates have a subpar bullpen but have managed a 3.86 ERA collectively this month. Expect some regression, though, because their xFIP is 4.53. Depending on their use, they have a few go-to options after Wil Crowe inevitably struggles. David Bednar, Chris Stratton and Connor Overton are their best relievers.

That said, Stratton has struggled the last two months with a 5.49 ERA and 3.86 xFIP. Enyel De Los Santos has had the opposite experience 3.86 ERA and 7.06 xFIP.

The Pirates bullpen is top-heavy, so Yajure needs to last more than five innings. This is not very likely, considering this is his first outing since May.


Cincinnati Reds

Castillo ranks in the 92nd percentile in Barrel Percentage, despite an incredibly weak three-month stretch between April and June.

He has been great as of late, including a six-inning shutout against the Dodgers in his last outing. Castillo did face the Pirates once this season, but that was back in April. Still, he threw seven shutout innings.

Expect that same Castillo on the bump here because the Pirates have struggled since Aug. 1 against right-handed changeups (.276 xwOBA, 82.9 mph exit velocity), which he throws about 30% of the time.

The Reds lineup has not been able to hit lefties over the past month or so, which means they’re grateful to face a right-hander like Yajure. Cincinnati has a 107 wRC+ against righties since Aug. 1, but those numbers have plummeted in September.

Joey Votto, Jonathan India, Nick Castellanos and Kyle Farmer headline this Reds lineup. As long as they receive a bit of production from Mike Moustakas, Tucker Barnhart and Jesse Winker, Cincinnati should have an easy edge over the Pirates at the plate.

Finally, the Reds have had a top-10 bullpen since Sept. 1. Only Brad Brach, Jeff Hoffman and Justin Wilson have an ERA over 4.00 of 11 used relievers this month. This is encouraging, especially when considering a full-game line. Cincinnati has the artillery to back up Castillo, even if he doesn’t really need it like his first start of the season against Pittsburgh.

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Pirates-Reds Pick

The Reds are definitely the play here. They have struggled, yes, but the advantage they have on the mound at all levels is enormous here.

Castillo has a major edge over Yajure, and the Cincinnati bullpen has plenty of strong arms available, whereas the Pirates are shorthanded.

Expect the Reds to break out here because they love facing a soft-tossing right-hander. Take their run line and play it to -145.

Pick: Reds -1.5 (-120, play to -145)

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