Both clubs send right-handed starters to the hill, with Cincinnati’s Mat Latos (8-3, 3.52 ERA) facing Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.06 ERA). Let's look at the match up for today's MLB picks.
Reds, Phillips Hold On
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips notched three RBIs as part of Friday’s victory, including a two-run double to give his club a 5-0 lead. Cincinnati went through five relievers, with closer Aroldis Chapman tossing the final frame for his 22nd save.
Pittsburgh’s lineup drilled three solo-shot homers in the sixth inning, surrendered by Reds starter Mike Leake. Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez was held to a 0-for-4 night, while mate Starling Marte struck out three times from the leadoff spot.
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Latos lit up in Atlanta
Latos has been idle since July 11, logging a third loss in five starts with a 6-5 defeat for Cincinnati to the Atlanta Braves. The 25-year-old allowed all six of Atlanta’s runs over four innings, failing to cash as a plus 100 road dog.
Cincinnati’s Joey Votto and Jay Bruce drove in one run each, while Shin-Soo Choo poked a double as part of a 2-for-4 outing. The contest’s combined 11 runs soared OVER the ‘total’ of 7 ½, with the Reds edged out in hits, 11-10.
Burnett cashes at home
Burnett picked up a second straight no-decision in last Saturday’s 4-2 win for Pittsburgh over the New York Mets. The 15-year veteran gave up both of New York’s runs on seven hits, lasting 5 2/3 innings to collect as 168 home ‘chalk.’
Pirates reliever Justin Wilson notched his staff’s win, holding the Mets to one hit over the next 1 1/3 frames. Pittsburgh’s Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli closed the affair, recording a hold and save, respectively.
Back the UNDER in Cincy
Bet365 opened Latos as a 144 home favorite, while first setting the ‘total’ at eight (UNDER minus 120). The weather forecast in Cincinnati calls for an 88 degree day, with a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms.
I am adding the UNDER in this duel to Saturday’s sports picks, looking for a tight affair between these starters.
Burnett’s last two road starts were solid, allowing a combined three earned runs over 13 1/3 IP. The 36-year-old’s five daytime outings have seen foes held to a stingy 1.03 WHIP and .271 OBP.
Latos should settle back down in this spot after an extended layoff, giving up just one long ball in his last 24 1/3 IP at home. The UNDER is 4-1 in Latos’ last five starts against clubs with winning records, while holding the Pirates to seven earned runs over his three outings against them (17 2/3 IP).
Umpire John Hirschbeck is slated to call the balls and strikes, with the UNDER collecting at a 6-3 clip in his last nine games behind the disk. Look for another low-octane battle here, adding to the UNDER’s 13-4-1 mark in Cincinnati’s last 18 spots against righty starters.
Free Pick: UNDER 8 at Bet365