Reds vs. Pirates prediction and odds for Friday, April 21 (Value on total)

Apr 16, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller (23)
Apr 16, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller (23) / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates continue a weekend series on Friday night with Pittsburgh trying to maintain its strong footing in the NL Central.

The Pirates have been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season, well above .500 through the first 20 games of the season. The team will hand the ball to Mitch Keller to try and outduel prized Reds' prospect Graham Ashcraft.

Here are the betting odds for this Friday night matchup and our best bet:

Reds vs. Pirates odds, run line and total

Reds vs. Pirates prediction and pick

Keller is realizing his potential in Pittsburgh as a high end rotation arm. He has a 3.80 ERA through four starts while upping his strikeout total to nearly 10 per nine innings.

He'll face a Reds lineup that got the better of him in his first start of the season. Cincinnati scored four runs in less than five innings, but this is a club that is bottom five in wRC+ this season, so I'll trust the larger sample considering I don't trust them to get going on Friday night.

However, I can't back the Pirates against the rising start in Ashcraft. He hasn't allowed more than two runs this season and has pitched at least six innings in all three starts this season, including a seven inning, four hit, one earned run performance on April 2.

Both pitchers are in great form and I believe we are in for a pitcher's duel on Friday. Both bullpens are prone to implosions and are below average in ERA, but I need to trust each star to go long and for this game to be a low scoring affair for its entirety.

I'll take the under as my best bet.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.