MLB Picks: Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Cincinnati Reds (8-10) and Pittsburgh Pirates (8-11) will open up a National League Central series Monday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET at PNC Park

Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates 

The Cincinnati Reds are starting to play quality baseball
The Cincinnati Reds are starting to play quality baseball

Cincinnati has won four of its last five games, including a 8-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs as -137 road favorites Sunday, while going OVER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.  The Reds have been getting great offensive production out of catcher Devin Mesoraco, who enters the series with a career-high nine-game hitting streak.  First baseman Joey Votto is also hitting .400 over the team’s last eight games—resulting in a 5-3 record over that span.  Cincinnati is 7-14 as road underdogs of +125 to +150 the last two-plus seasons.

Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake (2-1, 2.95 ERA) has led the club to back-to-back wins, including a 7-5 home victory over the Pirates last time out, as he allowed three runs and five hits over 6.2 innings of work.  The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in two road outings, with opposing hitters batting .180 against him.  In 16 lifetime appearances versus Pittsburgh, Leake has compiled a 6-3 record and 3.28 ERA.

Pittsburgh has dropped its last three games, including a 3-2 setback to the Milwaukee Brewers as -126 home favorites Sunday, while going UNDER the betting total for the first time in four affairs.  The Pirates starting rotation has put together a 4.27 ERA in the early going, which ranks 12th in the NL.  The bullpen continues to be a strength, with setup man Mark Melancon not allowing a home run in his last 73 frames.  Pittsburgh is 35-20 as home favorites of -125 to -150 since the start of the 2012 campaign.

Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (0-3, 3.96 ERA) has picked up a loss in his last three efforts, including a 4-0 road defeat to the Reds last time out, as he gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings of work.  The left-hander went 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four official outings in Grapefruit League action, but has struggled to reach his maximum velocity in the early going.  Liriano is 0-4 with a 3.73 ERA in five career regular season outings versus Cincinnati.

Sports bettors will likely back the Reds due to their 10-4 record in Leake’s last 14 efforts versus division opponents.Make sure to check out our Major League Baseball picks all season long and get the most up-to-date betting odds at Bookmaker

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