Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 4/21/14
Cincinnati Reds (7-10) at Pittsburgh Pirates (8-10)
MLB Baseball: Monday, April 21, 2014 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)
Mike Leake (R) (2-1) (2.952) vs. Francisco Liriano (L) (0-3) (3.960)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -135 / Cincinnati Reds +125 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
TV: FSN-OH, ESPN
The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates will begin a four-game series on Monday.
The Reds have won four of their last five games and just took two of three from the Chicago Cubs. The Reds pitching and batting lineup have been getting the job done, as Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips have combined for 40 hits, while the pitching staff has allowed two or less runs in three of their last four games. Mike Leake will get the start on Monday, as he’s 2-1 on the season with a 2.95 ERA, and he has 14 strikeouts in 21.1 innings. Leake is 6-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 16 career starts against the Pirates.
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The Pirates just lost three of four games against the Milwaukee Brewers and continue to struggle offensively. The Pirates have scored two or less runs in five of their last 10 games, and Starling Marte has struck out 31 times in 80 at bats. And while the Pirates pitching was supposed to be their strength, they’ve allowed five or more runs in four of their last seven games. Francisco Liriano is 0-3 on the season with a 3.96 ERA, and he has 28 strikeouts in 25 innings of work. Liriano is 0-4 with a 3.73 ERA in five career starts against the Reds.
The Reds are 2-5 in Leake's last 7 road starts and 5-2 in Leake's last 7 starts overall. The Pirates are 10-2 in Liriano's last 12 starts as a home favorite and 1-4 in Liriano's last 5 starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Reds are 4-0 in Leake's last 4 starts vs. Pirates, while the Pirates are 1-5 in Liriano's last 6 starts vs. Reds.
Despite what the numbers say, Liriano is one of the Pirates better pitchers. Given the price, I like the Pirates at home. Pittsburgh has to break out of its funk eventually, and there's no better time than at home after getting beat up by the Brewers.