Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick – August 13, 2020
The Pittsburgh Pirates visit Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Thursday to open a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. It’s the first meeting of the season between these two NL Central foes, and the Pirates went 12-7 against the Reds in 2019.
However, the Pirates enters this clash with a terrible 3-13 record, sitting bottom of the NL Central standings. The Reds were 8-9 on Wednesday and tied with the Brewers and Cardinals for the second spot.
It seems like all NL Central teams besides the Pirates will battle for the playoffs. The Reds will look to prove this statement Thursday afternoon, so here’s my prediction and betting picks for Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati opener.
Pirates vs. Reds Odds
- Pirates to win; +160
- Reds to win; -175
- Pirates (+1.5); -129
- Reds (-1.5); +109
- Over 9.5; +100
- Under 9.5; -120
As it was expected, the Reds opened as firm -175 favorites on BetOnline. The Pirates are +160 underdogs with a total of 9.5 runs.
Pittsburgh has won only one of its last 11 games overall. Furthermore, the Penguins are 1-13 in their previous 14 outings on the road, but they’ve covered the spread in three of their last four away contests.
Cincinnati is 6-4 in its last 10 games overall excluding Wednesday’s home game against Kansas City. Before that meeting with the Royals, the Reds failed to cover in all three showings at home this season.
Pirates vs. Reds Preview
The Pirates enter the Reds series averaging 4.00 runs per game (tied-23rd in the MLB). Their batting average is the third-worst in baseball (.209), while the Pirates are slugging only .328 for the second-worst record in the majors.
The Reds are scoring 4.29 runs per game (18th) on .208 batting average (29th). They are struggling offensively while surrendering 4.82 runs per contest (20th). The Pirates, on the other side, are the worst defensive team in the majors with 5.88 runs allowed per game.
Trevor Williams will take the hill for the Pirates, and the 28-year-old right-hander suffered a loss in all three starts this season. Williams carries a 3.52 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP into this game, and he’s 5-2 with a 2.93 ERA in nine career starts and three relief appearances against the Reds.
Cincy will start Anthony DeSclafani, looking for another strong performance by the 30-year-old right-hander. DeSclafani has been terrific through his first two starts of the season, allowing no runs and five hits while striking out eight in 11 innings of work.
Interestingly, DeSclafani is only 2-6 in 13 starts against the Pirates. The Reds are winless in six straight meetings with the Pirates with DeSclafani on the mound.
Pirates vs. Reds Pick
I think it’s the right time for DeSclafani and the Reds to snap that ugly losing streak against Pittsburgh. The Reds’ offense has a chance to improve against Trevor Williams and the Pirates’ poor bullpen, while I’m looking for DeSclafani to dominate this toothless Pirates’ offense.
Also, don’t hesitate to take the Reds to cover the spread if you’re looking for greater odds. The Pirates’ pitching staff has been awful thus far and we should see more of the same at Great American Ball Park.
I would stick with the side bet and avoid wagering on the totals. It could easily go either way, considering how poor the Pirates’ defense is and how bad offensively both teams are.
- Reds (-1.5); +109