Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates odds, picks and prediction

USA Today Sportsbookwire

The Pittsburgh Pirates (53-91) host the Cincinnati Reds (75-70) Wednesday for the second game of their three-game series at PNC Park with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. ET. Let's analyze the lines around the Reds vs. Pirates odds with MLB picks and predictions.

Pittsburgh took Tuesday's series opener 6-5 as the Pirates' 6-run lead after the fifth inning was too much for the Reds to overcome.

Also see:2021 World Series odds for all teams

Season series: Reds lead 9-2.

RHP Vladimir Gutiérrez is Cincinnati's projected starter. He is 9-6 with a 4.05 ERA (104 1/3 IP, 47 ER), 3.3 BB/9 and 7.1 K/9 across 19 starts.

  • Last outing: No-decision in Cincy's 4-1 loss at the Chicago Cubs Sept. 8, with a stat line of 5 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB and 6 K.
  • Gutiérrez beat Pittsburgh, 11-3, Aug. 7, with 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB and 6 K.

RHP Mitch Keller gets the nod for the Pirates. He is 4-11 with a 6.29 ERA (83 IP, 58 ER), 1.77 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9 and 8.9 K/9 over 19 starts.

  • Last outing: Loss, 5-1, with 5 IP, 4 ER, 10 H, 1 BB and 6 K Sept. 8 against the Detroit Tigers.
  • Keller is 0-2 with 8 1/3 IP, 11 ER, 14 H, 6 BB and 6 K in two starts against the Reds this season.
  • vs. Reds on the current roster (73 PA): 8.53 FIP with a .345 average, .465 wOBA, .465 xSLG, 24.7 K% and 91.8 mph exit velocity.

Reds at Pirates odds, lines, picks and prediction

MLB odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports for a full list. Odds last updated at 12:10 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Reds -145 (bet $145 to win $100) | Pirates +120 (bet $100 to win $120)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Reds -1.5 (+110) | Pirates +1.5 (-135)
  • Over/Under: 8.5 (O: -130 | U: +105)

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Prediction

Reds 9, Pirates 4

Money line (ML)

The " reverse line movement" headed in Pittsburgh's direction gives this contest a "trap game" feel so I'll just "LEAN" to the REDS (-145) for a half unit.

According to Pregame.com at the time of writing, more than 85% of the action is on the Reds but the Pirates have gone from a +143 consensus underdog to the listed price. It's always a red flag in sports betting when the House makes the more popular side cheaper.

However, it's hard to figure out how the Pirates win this game against a Cincinnati team motivated by still being in the playoff hunt and that has owned Pittsburgh this season.

Furthermore, Gutiérrez is more effective away from Cincy's notoriously hitter-friendly ballpark and Keller has gotten raked in Pittsburgh. Gutiérrez has a 3.43 road ERA (4.91 ERA at home), 1.21 road WHIP (1.43 WHIP at home) and a .672 opponent OPS (.889 opponent's OPS at home).

Keller is 2-8 at home with an 8.19 ERA (3.63 road ERA), 2.05 WHIP (1.39 road WHIP) and 1.6 K/BB (3.2 K/BB on the road).

Lastly, Cincy's lineup is significantly more productive than Pittsburgh's and the Reds bullpen has hovered around the top-10 of several advanced pitching metrics following the All-Star break, whereas Pirates relievers have gotten roughed up all season.

"LEAN" REDS (-145) for a half unit.

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Run line/Against the spread (ATS)

PASS because we have a " pros vs. joes" situation in the betting market with the presumed "sharp" money backing the Pirates +1.5 (-135) and the public is betting on the Reds -1.5 (+110).

Oddsmakers have reacted to the money column and have made Pittsburgh's run line more expensive since the opener.

In sports betting, it's not very profitable to fade the money especially when it's flowing in the opposite direction as the public.

Plus, the Reds are 8-20 ATS as road favorites and the lowly Pirates are still 34-29 ATS as home underdogs.

Over/Under (O/U)

"LEAN" to the OVER 8.5 (-130) for a half unit because eight of the last 10 Reds-Pirates meeting went Over the projected total and Pittsburgh is sending out one of the most poorly graded starting pitchers in the NL.

Keller grades in the second percentile in hard-hit rate, third percentile in exit velocity, 21st percentile in xSLG, 11th percentile in xwOBA and 19th percentile in chase rate.

If Cincy's lineup cannot rake Keller then it'll have plenty of chances against this bottom rung Pittsburgh bullpen.

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