MLB Picks: Back Homer Bailey & Reds vs. Pirates

Jeff Grant

Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:55 AM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 19, 2014 11:55 AM UTC

Homer Bailey is starting to turn his 2014 campaign around, which provides the Cincinnati Reds a major edge over the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday afternoon. Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting lines for this National League Central affair.

A new season
Cincinnati moved its record to .500 for the first time since April 2 after coming away with a 11-4 victory over Pittsburgh as +125 road underdogs Wednesday night, while going 'over' the betting total for the fourth time in five contests. The Reds are a legitimate threat to win the division in the futures market if outfielder Billy Hamilton continues to improve, as he extended his multi-hit streak to a career-high four games last night.

MLB handicappers will find that the franchise is 9-6 as underdogs of +100 to +125 when playing away from the Great American Ball Park, with the 'under' going 9-6 in that situation.

Need a spark
Pittsburgh has dropped three games in a row, but is capable of turning things around, as outfielder Andrew McCutchen leads the Majors with a .356 average in June the last three years. McCutchen had his personal 12-game hit streak snapped Wednesday, while he’s gone 12-for-40 (.300) in his career against today’s opposing starter.

It’s important to point out that the club is a dismal 9-17 in day games, with the 'under' going 19-5-2 in those 26 opportunities.

Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey (7-3, 4.68 ERA) has led the team to five consecutive victories, but he didn’t factor into the decision of a 6-5 road win over the Milwaukee Brewers last time out—allowing four runs and six hits over 6.1 innings of work. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in seven road outings, with opposing hitters batting .294 against him (.269 at home). Bailey has compiled a 5-1 record and 1.60 ERA in seven career efforts in the Steel City.

Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke (0-1, 3.98 ERA) will be making his fourth appearance of the season—walking just a single batter and striking out 17 over the course of 20.1 innings. The left-hander is 6-7 with a 4.57 ERA in 25 career games (23 starts) at this ballpark, as he’s served up 12 home runs in 126 combined frames. In five lifetime starts versus the Reds, Locke has produced a 2-1 record and 3.04 ERA.

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Reds as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve captured Bailey’s last four trips to the mound versus division rivals.

Free MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds 

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