MLB Baseball Betting: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB Baseball Betting:  Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates

The Cincinnati Reds will play Game Two of a three game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates this evening at PNC Park. The Pirates were swept by the Washington Nationals over the weekend but now they’re back at home and back in the win column following a 7-6 victory over the Reds on Tuesday night. Pittsburgh has now won 7 of their last 10 and 9 of their last 12. They’re still six games back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central race since the Cardinals just keep on cruising along (7-3 L10) and haven’t given Pittsburgh a chance to pick up much ground. The Reds are in fourth place in the division 7.5 games clear of hapless Milwaukee in last place but 13.5 games out of first place and 7 games off the ‘lead pack’ with the Cards, Bucs and Chicago Cubs (in third place 6.5 games back).

Pittsburgh will start Gerrit Cole who has been exceptional this season. The Pirates have won 11 of his 14 starts overall and 5 of his 6 starts at home. He’s got a 1.88 ERA overall, a 2.11 home ERA and a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts–all Pirates wins. Cincinnati will counter with Mike Leake who has been mediocre at best this season. He’s got a 4.01 ERA overall and a 3.00 road ERA. The bigger issue is the fact that Cincinnati doesn’t win much when he takes the ball–the Reds are 5-9 in his 14 starts including a 2-5 record on the road.

And while we’re on the subject–the Reds have been downright awful away from home. Cincinnati is 12-23 -10.7 units away from the Great American Ballpark. That’s particularly bad news since Pittsburgh has been solid at home with a 22-11 record good for +6.8 units of profit. Not at all sold on this Reds’ team–and particularly with Johnny Cueto dealing with elbow issues. At the very least, no interest whatsoever in Cincinnati on the road. This looks like a horrible matchup for them facing a good home team and a top flight pitcher in Cole. The price is a bit chalky but the Reds are 1-5 this year as an underdog of +150 or more. Pirates are a legit contender and Cole is a beast.