Bet The Pirates In Division Matchup

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Pirates vs. Reds, 4:10 ET

There is a lot of talent in the game, but these two teams are complete bottom dwellers that have already given up on this season. I’d love to say it was honorable for them to suffer through this, but I highly doubt that they have a serious long-term plan that allows them to return to contention any time soon. Still, the advantage of sports betting is these bad games give us some opportunity to win.

The Pirates were able to take the first game of the season and I’ve written that I think the Reds are going to be the worst team in the division. I think Pittsburgh will end fourth in the division and Cincinnati will be fifth in the Central. Part of my interest in the Pirates comes from the fact that I think they have a better offense, but the other part comes from my belief that their pitching staff is better as well. They have Rich Hill going for them today and if you haven’t heard of him, you probably haven’t followed baseball in 20 years. Just kidding, but the guy has been on basically every team and is now 43 years old. I won’t call him a good starter, but serviceable is a word that applies to him. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he is crafty and knows how to get guys out. Last season he was able to get 26 starts for Boston and faced much better competition than the Reds. There is only one guy that has seen a lot of Hill in his career, that is Wil Myers. Myers is 3-for-23 in his career. The rest of the Reds hitters are 1-for-13 against Hill.

It was just a few years ago that the Reds made the playoffs. They had Sonny Gray, they had Trevor Bauer, they had actual Major League talent on the field. Now it is basically a minor league club and they are going to really struggle. Will they lose every game? Of course not. They will even probably have a five or six-game winning streak at some point. But, they are more likely to lose two of every three games than anything else. They are sending Nick Lodolo to the mound tonight to battle Pittsburgh and he might be the best pitcher on their staff, but that isn’t saying much. He was very good at Great American Ballpark last year, which is a hitter’s park. He had 11 starts there and allowed just 17 earned runs in 61.2 innings. He had one start against Pittsburgh and allowed three earned runs over 6.1 innings so it was a nice outing.

Call me crazy here, but I think the Pirates can win this game. I do think taking them through five innings is a better looks as you get the opportunity to push if it is tied through five so I’ll take them at +116 instead of backing the full game for just about .10 more of value. The Pirates aren’t better than many teams, but they are better than the Reds.

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Written by David Troy

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