Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#5901 Cincinnati Reds vs.
#5902 Pittsburgh Pirates
Sunday, August 21, 2022 at 1:35pm EDT
Written by Adam Rauzino

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The Cincinnati Reds (47-71, 55-62 RL, 57-56-4 O/U) take on the Pittsburgh Pirates (47-73, 61-57 RL, 52-55-11 O/U) as the foes conclude a three-game divisional series on Sunday afternoon. The Reds give the nod to Mike Minor. The Pirates reply with Zach Thompson, seeking his fourth win of the season. The Reds lead the season series 6-5.

Minor Dips to 1-10

Mike Minor will make the start to conclude the series. Minor had trouble again in his latest effort, conceding four runs in five innings against the Phillies, and was charged with another loss. The veteran left-hander is having a disastrous season, recording a 6.31 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP accompanied by a 1-10 record in 67 innings pitched. Minor allowed four runs on five hits in 6.1 innings against the Pirates in the only meeting this season and 1-2 with a 5.19 ERA in six career meetings against the rivals.

The Reds are in the midst of a 10-game road trip. They lost two of three against Philly this week and only 3-7 in their last ten bouts. The offense has taken a hit after trading key players earlier this month while the pitching has been poor all season.

The Reds traded several key hitters and are giving Albert Almora Jr. plenty of playing time as a result. The 28-year-old has not been able to find a groove, posting three RBIs on the month and has collected 29 RBIs on the year. Almora Jr. is 5 for 21 with one RBI against the Pirates this season.

The Reds are scoring an average of 4.19 runs per game ranking them 22nd overall. The pitching staff enters with a 5.05 team ERA, pegging them 28th in the big leagues. 

Thompson Shines vs. Reds

Zach Thompson will make his 23rd outing of the season. Thompson exited after allowing two runs in 0.1 innings against the Red Sox earlier this week. The right-hander is struggling to find a groove, allowing 19 runs in his last five outings and his ERA has plummeted to 5.51 along with a 1.54 WHIP and a 3-9 record in 94.2 innings. Thompson has shut down the Reds this season, tossing 11 scoreless innings against the rivals, and is 1-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 21 career innings against the Reds.

The Pirates have now lost four consecutive series. They were swept by the Giants last weekend and dropped two of three to the Reds Sox prior to this series. Pittsburgh rallied to a 5-4 win in Friday's series opener. The pitching has been the biggest issue recently. 

Oneil Cruz is one of the Pirates' top young players but has not been able to produce with consistency. The 23-year-old shortstop has seven RBIs and a .604 OPS on the month and is only hitting .195 with 29 RBIs and a .632 OPS on the season. Cruz is 2 for 8 against the Reds. 

The Pirates are scoring an average of only 3.65 runs per game, ranking them 28th overall. The pitching staff has posted a 4.61 team ERA, placing them 26th in the big leagues. 

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


The Reds do not win games when Mike Minor is pitching. They have only earned one win this season when Minor is on the hill. The veteran just isn’t able to fool hitters. He has allowed 13 runs in his last 18 innings pitched, and Pittsburgh was able to score four runs against him last month.

Furthermore, Pittsburgh is competitive at home where they are nearly .500. They issued a home sweep against the Brewers two home series' ago and have won five out of their last eight home games. The Pirates scored at least five runs in five of those games in that span. Lastly, Pirates starter Zach Thompson has tossed 11 shutout innings against the Reds this season.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates -115

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


I expect plenty of runs in this one. Minor has logged a poor 5.19 ERA in six career meetings against the Pirates. The Pirates' offense is in a groove at the plate, scoring 29 runs in their last five games.

In addition, the Reds will definitely contribute to this total. They have scored 14 runs in this series Zach Thompson is not a reliable pitcher and has allowed 19 runs in his last 19 innings of work, plus the over has delivered in each of his last five starts. The over is also a convincing 15-5-2 in the Pirates' last 22 home games.

Prediction: Over 8.5

Written By Adam Rauzino , "Adam Rauzino"

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball, and football. He enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and being an expert sports bettor. Prior to bringing his talents here to Winners and Whiners, Adam graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance. You would do yourself a huge favor by following Adam on a daily basis.