Reds vs. Pirates prediction and odds for Thursday, April 20 (Pirates Continue String of Quality Starts)
By Josh Yourish
Get your brooms out everybody, the Pittsburgh Pirates went out to Denver and swept the Colorado Rockies with some authority. A 14-3 win to open the series and a 14-3 win yesterday, to close out the three-gamer. The Battlin’ Buccos are 12-7 which has them in second place in the NL Central division. There are two teams that have beaten the Bucs in a series this season, the Astros and the Cincinnati Reds.
After that opening series, when the Reds took two of three from Pittsburgh, they have fallen to 7-11, which is good for last in the Central.
Tonight the Reds give the ball to Luke Weaver and the Pirates counter with Roansy Contreras. Weaver has yet to pitch this season while Contreras is 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA.
The Pirates are home favorites in Game 1 of a four-game weekend set with the Reds. Let’s get into the odds.
Reds vs. Pirates odds, spread and total
Reds vs. Pirates prediction and pick
Contreras has that ERA of 6.00, but that’s incredibly misleading. He pitched poorly against the Astros in his second start, but his other two outings have been stellar.
A stellar start yesterday from fellow, young right-hander, Johan Oviedo extends an important streak for the Pirates rotation that was a big question mark heading into the year.
So I told you that his ERA is misleading and that’s because Contreras has a FIP of 3.66. The concern is that he has eight walks to 11 strikeouts so far, but the Reds have struck out the ninth most of any team in baseball and Contreras should have some luck missing bats. The Reds are also 13th in walks, so that could be an issue with his 11.6% walk rate.
The Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t just a scrappy team getting lucky right now, they’re bludgeoning teams. They are third in baseball with a .449 slugging percentage, behind only Tampa Bay and the Dodgers. They have a +19 run differential which is ninth in the league. This may not be sustainable, but right now the offense is very real.
I like the Pirates to win, but more than that I like the over which is 4-0 in the Reds last four road games.
Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change