Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates odds, picks and predictions

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The Cincinnati Reds (7-24) travel to Pittsburgh to square off against the Pittsburgh Pirates (13-17) Thursday in the opener of a 4-game NL Central series. First pitch at PNC Park is slated for  6:35 p.m. ET. Let’s analyze Tipico Sportsbook‘s lines around the Reds vs. Pirates odds with MLB picks and predictions.

Season series: Reds lead 2-1 as teams meet for the second straight weekend. The Reds outscored the Pirates 21-13 in last weekend’s games in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati outslugged the Milwaukee Brewers 14-11 Wednesday for its  4th win in its last 6 games.

Pittsburgh remains at home after taking 2 of 3 from the Los Angeles Dodgers at PNC Park Monday-Wednesday.

Reds at Pirates projected starters

RHP Connor Overton vs. RHP JT Brubaker

Overton (0-0, 2.53 ERA) is tabbed for his 3rd start this season and 5th in his career. He has a 1.03 WHIP, 1.7 BB/9 and 5.9 K/9 in 10 2/3 IP.

  • Pitched Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh and allowed 2 R in 5 1/3 IP (0 BB, 4K). Has allowed just 3 ER in his last 11 IP.
  • Owns a 3.81 ERA in 26 career innings across 11 games.

Brubaker (0-2, 5.68 ERA) has registered a 1.42 WHIP, 5.0 BB/9 and 10.7 K/9 through 25 1/3 IP in 6 starts.

  • Faced Reds last Saturday, allowing 2R while fanning 9 in 5 IP.
  • Albeit in a small sample, has held current Reds to an aggregate .494 OPS.

Reds at Pirates odds and lines

  • Money line: Reds +110 (bet $100 to win $110) | Pirates -135 (bet $135 to win $100)
  • Run line (RL): Reds +1.5 (-190) | Pirates -1.5 (+155)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 8.5 (O: +105 | U: -130)

Reds at Pirates picks and predictions

Prediction

Pirates 4, Reds 3

Money line

The Pirates have been beaten up by the way opponents have clustered their walks, hits, and home runs, and that “cluster luck” — good or bad — is not highly correlated game to game, week to week, etc. So, look for better things for the Pittsburgh run prevention, primarily from the bullpen.

Brubaker has been brow-beaten by allowing a .385 OBP in inning-leadoff situations and a .267 batting average with runners in scoring position. His batting average on balls in play in those key situations: .438 and .375. The right-hander logged a 3.79 ERA at home last season.

When Brubaker and Overton hooked up Saturday, their numbers were similar. But a deeper dive shows that Overton was hit hard while Brubaker was dinged by softer contact.

Consider a partial-unit play on PITTSBURGH (-135). A price of -130 or better would be more advisable for full-unit action.

Run line/Against the spread

The PITTSBURGH -1.5 (+155) is attractive enough to include, perhaps on a partial-unit basis. The run-line play on a low-total favorite — especially in this offensive downturn season — is a tricky proposition.

Over/Under

Underlying signals point to a low total. An inward breeze is in the forecast, and BACKING THE UNDER 8.5 (-130) makes sense.

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