Fade Cueto & the Reds as Locke Takes the Mound for Pirates at Home

Charles Stark

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:22 AM GMT

For today's MLB pick we head to Pittsburgh when the Cincinnati Reds take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The lines may have shifted at publishing time, but we're still backing the Pirates tonight.

Odds
The early MLB odds on this game had the Reds at -110, being favored in this spot but this is actually a really even matchup. At some places you can get the Pittsburgh Pirates on a little plus money line although the lines may have changed by press time.

 

Pitchers
Johnny Cueto gets the start for the Reds with a 2.98 ERA and a WHIP of just under 1.00. Surprisingly he is just four and four on the season with those good numbers. He already pitched once against Pittsburgh this season allowing zero earned runs and only four hits, but that was in Cincinnati so I expect a little different outcome today. Recently and on the road Cueto has not been sharp, in his last two games he is given up seven earned runs in only 12 innings, and on the road his ERA jumps to 4.01. For the Pirates Jeff Locke takes the mound with a 4.74 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. Kind of the opposite of Cueto as he has been sharp recently and at home. In his last two games he is allowed two earned runs in 12 innings, and at home his ERA drops to 3.05. He should be able to keep the Reds in check today.

 

Batter Up
Neither the Reds nor the Pirates are tearing it up at the plate this season. The Reds rank higher than the Pirates in most offensive categories, but on the road for the Reds and at home for the Pirates it's a little different story. For example, the Reds average 4.56 runs per game at home but on the road that average drops to 3.53. The Pirates average 3.84 runs per game on road games but at home it jumps to 4.09. In my favorite category of on base plus slugging percentage the Reds are at .769 at home but dropped to .668 on the road. The Pirates are at .664 on the road but that goes up to .717 at home. Pittsburgh is just a different monster at home and have a very good chance to win this game.

With the home and road disparity I like the Pirates as my MLB pick in this spot from a pick to any small money line. Locke is a much better pitcher than his numbers show so far this season and offensively the Pirates should get to Cueto at home where they are much better hitting team.

MLB Pick: Take the Pirates at Pinnacle