Pirates vs. Reds Series Betting Coverage: MLB Picks

Darin Zank

Friday, July 11, 2014 3:38 PM GMT

Pittsburgh got this series to even with a 6-5 victory in extra innings Saturday night, thanks to the heroics of Andrew McCutchen. The teams now play a rubber match Sunday (1:10 pm ET) before heading into the All-Star break.

 

12th July
Pirates vs. Reds Game 3

By: Ron Patrick

 

 

Sunday's Betting Odds
As of early Sunday AM Cincy and Johnny Cueto could be found at -144 at 5Dimes as a sports pick option, while Pittsburgh and Francisco Liriano could be gotten at +140 MLB odds at Bovada. And most books were listing the total on Sunday's game at seven runs.

 

Saturday Re-Hash
Pittsburgh led 4-0 going into the bottom of the sixth, but Cincy put up a five-spot and took a one-run lead into the top of the ninth. McCutchen then tied the game with a solo homer off Jonathan Broxton, then popped another dinger in the 11th for a 6-5 Pittsburgh victory.

The Bucs won as +100 “dogs” on Saturday's MLB betting line, and the game, to our dismay, played 'over' its total of 7.5 runs.

We've backed the 'under' in both games of this series so far, then watched in puzzlement as the teams have combined to score 22 runs.

 

Sunday's Starters
Cueto (9-6, 2.03) is an outstanding 17/19 on quality starts this season, and running on a string of six in a row. Last Tuesday he held the Cubs to two solo homers through 6 2/3 innings, and over his last six outings he's allowed 10 ER through 41 2/3 innings.

On the season the Cy Young contender has allowed just 88 hits through 138 innings, walked 33 and struck out 134. Cincy is 11-8 in Cueto's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by an 11-7 margin.

Since the beginning of 2013 Cueto has started six times against the Pirates, holding them to eight ER through 39 2/3 innings; the Reds went 4-2 in those six games, with the totals tilting toward the 'unders' 4-2.

Liriano (1-6, 4.60) will come off the DL (oblique) to make his first start in a month Sunday. On the season he's just 3/14 on quality starts, having allowed 69 hits in 72 innings, walking 36, which is too many, while striking out 77. Pittsburgh is 7-7 in Liriano's starts, with the totals leaning 'under' 7-5.

In his one rehab start down at Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday Liriano threw six scoreless innings, allowing three hits while whiffing eight.

Since the beginning of last season Liriano has started seven times against the Reds, allowing 18 ER through 45 1/3 innings; the Pirates went just 2-5 in those games, with the totals going 4-3.

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Free Pick for Sunday
We've whiffed with the 'under' on the first two games of this series, but we'll try the 'under' one more time for our free baseball pick on this series finale.

 

 

12th July
Pirates vs. Reds Game 2

By: Ron Patrick

 

Saturday's Betting Odds

 

As of early Saturday morning, Pinnacle was listing Cincy and Mike Leake at betting odds of -108, with Pittsburgh and Charlie Morton getting +100. And most books were listing the sports pick total on today's MLB game at 7.5.

 

Friday Re-Hash
Cincy trailed 5-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh but scored two unearned runs, then tallied three times with two outs in the eighth to steal a 6-5 decision from Pittsburgh. The late outburst from the Reds sent the game 'over' its total of 7.5 runs, much to our chagrin.

Cincy is now 8-3 against Pittsburgh this season. 

 

Saturday's Starters
Leake (7-7, 3.42) is 9/18 on quality starts this season, and three for his last four. Monday he gave up two ER in seven innings against the Cubs, and over his last four outings he's allowed seven ER through 28 2/3 innings.

On the season Leake has allowed 121 hits in 121 innings, walked 24 and struck out 95. Cincy is 8-10 in Leake's starts.

Since the beginning of 2013 Leake has started six times against the Pirates, allowing 16 ER and 42 hits through 38 1/3 innings; the Reds went 4-2 in those six games.

Morton (5-9, 3.10) is 9/18 on quality starts, and three for his last three. Monday he held St. Louis scoreless on one hit through seven innings, and over his last three starts he's held foes to three ER and 10 hits in 20 innings.

For the season Morton has allowed 94 hits in 113 innings, walked 40 and struck out 94. Pittsburgh is 8-10 in Morton's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by a 9-7 margin.

Since the beginning of last season Morton has started three times against Cincinnati, allowing six ER and 12 hits through 15 2/3 innings; the Pirates won two of those three games.

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Free MLB Pick for Saturday
Our baseball pick missed on the 'under' on Friday's game, but with these two pitchers going, we like the 'under' on Saturday's contest, too. 

 

 

11th July
Pirates vs. Reds Game 1

By: Ron Patrick

 

Pirates-Reds Betting Odds

In early action on Friday's series opener the best MLB odds we could find on Cincy and Mat Latos was the -117 offered at Pinnacle, while Pittsburgh and Jeff Locke could be gotten at +109 at Bet365. Also, those who liked the 'over' could play it at seven runs at -120 at Will Hill, while the 'under' could be played at 7.5 runs at -113 at Pinnacle.

Bigger-picture, most shops were listing the Reds at -160 to win this series, while the Pirates could be added to your sports picks at the price of +140.

 

Series Set-Up
Cincy just took four of five games from the Cubs this week, missing out on the rare five-game sweep by losing Thursday 6-4 in 12 innings. The Reds have now won seven of their last eight series, and 20 of their last 29 games.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, just dropped three of four games in St. Louis, avoiding the sweep with a 9-1 victory Thursday. But prior to that the Pirates had won five series in a row and 12 of their previous 15 games.

So heading into the weekend Cincy, at 49-43, sits in third place in the NL Central, just 2.5 games behind first-place Milwaukee, while Pittsburgh, at 48-44, trails the Brewers by 3.5 games.

The Reds have taken seven of 10 games from the Pirates so far this season, with the totals going 5-5.

 

Friday's Starters
Matt Latos (2-1, 2.41), who didn't make his season debut until June 14, is 4/5 on quality starts, and three for his last three. Most recently he held Milwaukee to two runs through eight innings, and over his last three starts he's given up just four runs and 10 hits through 22 innings.

On the season Latos has allowed just 21 hits in 34 innings, walked five and struck out 18. The Reds are only 2-3 in games Latos has started, in part because of some poor run support, while the totals have tilted toward the 'unders' by a 4-1 margin.

Latos started five times against Pittsburgh last year, allowing 13 ER and 38 base-runners in 28 2/3 innings; Cincy went 2-3 in those games, with four of those games playing 'over.'

Lefty Locke (2-1, 3.08) is a perfect 6/6 on quality starts since returning to the Pirates from the Minors a month ago. Last time out he held Philly to one run and three hits through eight innings, and just before that he held Arizona to two runs through eight innings.

For the season Locke has allowed 40 hits through 50 innings, walked six and struck out 30. Pittsburgh is 5-2 in Locke's starts, with the totals going 4-3.

Since the beginning of last season Locke has started five times against Cincinnati, allowing nine ER and 29 base-runners in 25 innings; Pittsburgh has gone 3-2 in those games, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' 4-1.

In the battle of the bullpens for this series Pittsburgh ranks 11th in ERA at 3.40 while going 27/41 on save opportunities, while Cincy ranks 24th in ERA at 3.92 while going 26/39 on save opps. But the Reds bullpen has been better since Aroldis Chapman returned on the back end.

 

With the Sticks
Pittsburgh, somewhat surprisingly, ranks second in the Majors in team OBP at .333, 16th in scoring at 4.1 runs per game.

Cincy ranks 25th in OBP at .307 and 21st in scoring at 3.9 RPG.

 

Pirates-Reds Betting Trends
The totals have leaned toward the 'unders' in games played at GABP this year by a 24-19 margin.

 

Injury Update
Cincy is now without both Joey Votto (thigh) and Brandon Phillips (thumb), who are on the DL, and may be for quite some time. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, had to place OF Starling Marte (32 RBI, 21 SB) on the bereavement list, and his return is uncertain.

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Free Pick for Friday
This should be a good, tough, close game, and we think low-scoring. So we'll go with the 'under' for our free MLB pick on Friday's series opener.