MLB Baseball Betting: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB Baseball Betting:  Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates

The Cincinnati Reds may have cooled off somewhat from their strong play in late July but they’re far from the ‘grease fire’ of earlier this season. They’re still in last place in the NL Central and due to some stronger than expected play from the Milwaukee Brewers of late they really haven’t done much to cut into the 5.5 game advantage of fourth place Milwaukee. In the big picture, they’re going no where. They’re 44-64 on the season 23 games out of first place. They also have the second worst run differential in baseball at -130, just 4 fewer than the pitiful Atlanta Braves. They enter this game winning 6 of 10 and dropped Friday night’s opening game of this series.

The Pittsburgh Pirates need wins and need them fast. They’re just 1 game over .500 and have dropped to 12.5 games out of first place behind the NL Central leading Chicago Cubs. They’re 3 games back of the second place Cardinals and now just 6 games up on the fourth place Brewers. They’ve lost 6 of 10 and have had problems in virtually every phase of the game. One of the biggest issues has been the struggles of former MVP Andrew McCutchen who has been in a season long slump.

The Reds will start right hander Homer Bailey who is making only his second start this season. He hadn’t pitched since April 2015 due to a variety of ailments but looked decent in his first start in over a year on July 31. Bailey went 5 2/3 innings allowing 4 hits, 2 ER while striking out 6 and walking 3. Bailey was always a very serviceable starter before his injury issues.

He’ll be opposed by Ivan Nova who has been decidedly mediocre this year. Nova has a 4.86 ERA and 1.380 WHIP in 15 starts but will be making his debut for the Pirates tonight. That makes his home stats of little relevance but his 8 home starts and last 3 starts show an ERA under 4 in both settings.

We’ll take a shot on Cincinnati. Pittsburgh’s offense has been pitiful of late–in their last 7 games they’re 2-5 with a .174 team batting average averaging 2.9 runs per game. They’re 39-45 -10.6 units against right handers this season and could be on the wrong end of a strong game from Bailey.