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
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