Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds – MLB, September 16, 2020
The Pittsburgh Pirates will finish their seven-game road trip and wrap up a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night. They lost both games of Monday’s doubleheader, extending their losing streak to six games, so the Pirates were 14-32 on Tuesday, sitting bottom of the National League, 8.5 games behind the wild-card spot.
While the Pirates will certainly miss another postseason, the Reds were 23-26 and just one game behind the bottom wild card on Tuesday. Also, they were third in the NL Central, only 1.5 games behind the second-placed Cardinals.
The hosts have so much on the table Wednesday against Pittsburgh, so here’s my best Pirates vs. Reds betting pick along with the latest odds update.
Pirates vs. Reds Odds
|Pirates to Win||+195|
|Reds to Win||-210|
The Reds are firm favorites at -210 for a few reasons. Although their bats are not doing a good job, the Reds are still a better offensive team than the hapless Pirates. Cincy should have an advantage on the mound, too, while the bookies know that the Reds are in a must-win situation.
Pirates vs. Reds Preview
The Pirates possess the lowest-scoring offense in baseball. They are averaging only 3.74 runs per game on the worst slugging percentage (.351) and fourth-worst batting average (.222).
On the other side, the Reds are scoring just 3.98 runs per game (28th in the majors). Their batting average of .213 is the worst in baseball, while the Reds are slugging .405, enough for the 21st-best in the MLB.
At least, the Reds are 11th in the league in runs allowed per game (4.37). The Pirates have the fourth-worst defense in baseball, surrendering 5.48 runs per contest.
J.T. Brubaker will get the starting call for the Pirates, and the 26-year-old rookie is 1-1 with a 5.34 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in six starts and a couple of relief apps in 2020. His first loss came last week against the White Sox, as Brubaker allowed seven earned runs on seven hits in 5.1 frames of work.
Brubaker will meet the Reds for the first time, while Luis Castillo will face off against the Pirates for the second time this season. Castillo grabbed his first win in 2020 back on September 4, pitching six innings in a 4-2 victory over the Pirates.
Luis is 2-5 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in nine starts this term. The righty has a 3-3 record with a 3.00 ERA in nine career starts against Pittsburgh.
Pirates vs. Reds Betting Pick
The odds on the Reds to win straight up are not tempting at all, but they should beat the Pirates by two or more runs and cover at -115 odds. Cincy is 7-3 in its last 10 meetings with Pittsburgh excluding their Tuesday’s clash, and the Reds covered the spread in all six wins in that span.
It’s always risky to back the bad offense to cover, but the Reds should have enough opportunities against Brubaker and the Pirates’ bullpen.