NL Central Rivals Collide
The Pittsburgh Pirates (1-0) squeaked by the Cincinnati Reds (0-1) with a 5-4 win on Opening Day. The National League Central rivals will play their second game of a three-game series on Saturday afternoon. The MLB’s oldest player, Rich Hill, will start for the Pirates, while the Reds hope second-year pitcher Nick Lodolo gets off to a strong start.
MLB lines expect Pittsburgh and Cincinnati to finish at the bottom of the Central with +5000 odds to win the division. Both teams finished in the bottom five of team ERA last season. But should we expect another high-scoring game?
Pirates’ Relievers Rise to Occasion
After taking an early 4-1 lead with three runs in the fourth inning, Pittsburgh nearly gave away Thursday’s game. Starting pitcher Mitch Keller was pulled in the fifth inning after allowing several extra-base hits, including a home run and triple. Fortunately, the Pirates’ relievers stepped up, allowing only two hits for the remainder of the game.
In his first game since returning to Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen turned in a strong performance with three walks and an RBI. Rule changes have dominated MLB news, and Ji Hwan Bae’s two stolen bases against the Reds proved these changes will surely lead to more steals. Among MLB picks and parlays, Bae racking up more steals could be a nice bet.
After ranking 26th in team ERA last season, the Pirates could have one of the league’s worst bullpens once again. Journeyman Hill will make his debut with Pittsburgh on Saturday. The veteran left-hander struggled in his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins with 11 hits and seven runs allowed.
Reds Hoping for Breakout Ace
Cincinnati begins yet another rebuilding season. MLB odds do not expect the Reds to make the postseason with sound reasoning.
The Reds have invested plenty into their bullpen, hoping at least one of their youngsters will break out. Starting pitcher Hunter Greene was a wild ride on Opening Day. He managed to record eight strikeouts thanks to his blazing fastball, but the Pirates also had five hits and three walks with Green on the mount. The second-year pitcher was pulled in the fourth inning.
Lodolo could be Cincinnati’s breakout player. He dominated in spring training with a 1.93 ERA and 19 K’s in 14 innings pitched.
Nick Lodolo, Vicious Breaking Ball. 😤 pic.twitter.com/38MlFtFYsi
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 26, 2023
Lodolo having a monster day could be one of the best MLB picks of the day. Pittsburgh’s bats lack pop, ranking 29th in batting average last season.
Pirates vs Reds Game Injuries
Pirates vs Reds Head-to-Head
The Pirates have dominated, going 8-2 in the last 10 meetings. Pittsburgh is averaging 6.2 runs in the last five matchups.
Pirates vs Reds Game Information
- Game:Pirates (1-0) vs Reds (0-1)
- Location: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, OH
- Day/Time: Saturday, April 1, 4:10 p.m. ET
- Pirates vs Reds Live stream: MLB.tv
Pirates vs Reds Betting Lines
Pirates vs Reds Picks and Prediction
These will likely be two of the worst teams in the MLB. That also means both will lack consistency. Who knows, maybe both teams enjoy breakouts from young players. The Reds could struggle to hit for a while, especially with first baseman Joey Votto out of the lineup. Lodolo turning in a nice performance seems promising. Go with the sportsbook’s favorite, Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is listed at -143 in our MLB lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Reds, you have a chance to win $70. Pittsburgh is +128, offering a chance to win $128 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Reds a 58.85% chance to win, with the Pirates at 43.86.