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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/18/14

Cincinnati Reds (33-35) at Pittsburgh Pirates (34-35)

MLB Baseball: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)

Alfredo Simon (R) (9-3) (2.951) vs. Edinson Volquez (R) (4-5) (3.991)

The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -115 / Cincinnati Reds +105 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds

TV: FSN-OH, ROOT-PIT

The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates will play game two of three Wednesday at PNC Park.

The Reds have won five of their last six games and are a win away from becoming a .500 ball club. The Reds are 29th in the league in runs scored, but have produced four or more runs in seven of their last 10 games. Zack Cozart has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games and Todd Frazier has three homers in his last five games. The Reds pitching staff has an ERA of 3.59. Starting is Alfredo Simon, who is 9-3 with a 2.95 ERA and has 50 strikeouts in 82.1 innings. Simon is 2-3 with a 2.57 ERA in 15 career games against the Pirates.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/18/14

USA TODAY Sports

With back-to-back losses, the Pirates fall two games below a .500 record. The downfall continues to be a shaky Pirates pitching staff that has allowed six or more runs in four of their last seven games. The Pirates have a season ERA of 3.81. Offensively, the Pirates have picked it up a bit, including Andrew McCutchen, who has 24 hits in the month of June. Edinson Volquez gets the nod, and he’s 4-5 with a 3.89 ERA and has 53 strikeouts in 78.2 innings. Volquez is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA in four career starts against the Reds.

The Reds are 6-1 in Simon's last 7 road starts and 5-1 in Simon's last 6 starts overall. The Pirates are 7-3 in their last 10 games as a home favorite and 1-4 in Volquez's last 5 starts during game 2 of a series. 

I like the value we're getting with Simon and the plus money, as he's been terrific for most of the season. The Pirates are too up-and-down for my taste and could very well go cold against a solid pitcher. Take the Reds. 

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Cincinnati Reds +105

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