Opening Day has come and gone, and baseball season is officially in full swing. All 30 teams played on Thursday, and just 10 teams played Friday, but we are back to a full 15-game slate today.
Today, we will be focusing on the second game of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds. Pittsburgh took the opener 5-4, and the Reds look to bounce back against their NL Central rival.
Reds vs. Pirates Betting Pick: Preview
Here are the odds at the time of posting for game two between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Saturday, April 1 MLB Betting Notes, Courtesy of DraftKings
Moneyline: Cincinnati Reds -130 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates +110
Runline: Reds -1.5 +150 / Pirates +1.5 -175
Total: 8.5 Runs (Over -110 / Under -110)
Game Time: 4:10 pm ET / 1:10 pm PT
Where: Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio
Weather: 46 degrees and cloudy, potential for rain
Reds vs. Pirates: Analysis
Thursday’s opening day matchup between these two teams made for an exciting game. The Reds tacked on a run in the first, the Pirates countered with a run in the third and three in the fourth, the Reds countered with a run in the bottom of the fourth and two in the fifth, but the Pirates broke the tie in the top of the 8th.
Walks and sloppy play plagued the Reds on Thursday. Hunter Greene only pitched 3.1 innings, and he allowed three walks, and his replacement, Cruz, allowed three walks in just .1 innings of work. The Reds did well to fight back, but the Pirates got the win against the Reds’ ace.
Nick Lodolo will get the rock in game two for Cincy, and veteran Rich Hill will toe the slab for the Pirates. Will the Pirates pull off another victory as underdogs? Let’s dive in.
Reds vs. Pirates: Reds Preview
The Reds are in the midst of a rebuild, but they have a few pieces to build around. One of those guys, Hunter Greene, pitched last night, and while he was throwing gas, he could not find the zone consistently. Cincinnati is not expected to do much this season, but they certainly don’t want to fall to last place in the NL Central. The Reds and the Pirates are pretty equally matched, but the Reds’ pitching should be the difference maker on Saturday and over the course of the season.
Young stud Nick Lodolo will take the rock for the 2nd game of Reds baseball this season. Lodolo made 19 starts last season and had a 3.66 ERA, a 3.90 FIP, a 27.9% K%, a 1.25 WHIP, and a .235 batting average against. Lodolo faced the Pirates once last season at home, and he allowed three runs on six hits with 11 strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work. Lodolo was great, but unfortunately, he was awarded the loss.
No one expected this Reds’ team to be good offensively, but man, their lineup inspires minimal confidence. They were able to get eight hits on Thursday, but considering they are in one of if not the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball, you’d like to see more long balls. The weather may be bad for this game, which would benefit the opposing pitching, but all in all, this Reds team will struggle offensively against most, especially savvy veterans like Rich Hill.
Reds vs. Pirates: Pirates Preview
Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are in similar boats. I give the Reds the nod because I think they have better pitching prospects, but the Pirates’ bats may have a slight edge. As I mentioned earlier, these teams are pretty evenly matched, but the Pirates are underdogs because Rich Hill is certainly on the back nine of his career, and his ability to be effective still is in question.
Rich Hill pitched for the Red Sox last season, and while he was not terrible by any means, he is clearly not the pitcher he once was. Last season, Hill had a 3.92 FIP, a 4.12 xFIP, a 1.30 WHIP, a .258 batting average against, and a 68.3% LOB%. However, Hill was actually better on the road last season. His FIP dropped to 3.81, he had a 70.5% LOB%, a 1.24 WHIP, and a .244 batting average against.
Pittsburgh did a great job taking advantage of the situation on Thursday, but they cannot expect to be given as many free passes every game. Pittsburgh got a solo home run from Cruz, but then they scored on two walks and a wild pitch. That, of course, is not sustainable, and it is another reason why I like the Reds’ outlook over the Pirates’.
Reds vs. Pirates: Prediction
It’s clear that neither of these teams is great, and if you watched this game on opening day as I did, you can see how far away these teams are from truly competing. With such poor teams in such a closely matched game, it’s hard to lay a price with the favorite – unless the Reds are trotting out Nick Lodolo.
Lodolo impressed me a lot last season, and the organization clearly has a ton of faith in him. He pitched great against the Pirates last season, and I expect him to shut down a Pirates offense that beat the Reds on Thursday, but mostly because the Reds beat themselves.
Prediction: Reds moneyline -130
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