Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#955 Cincinnati Reds -100 vs.
#956 Pittsburgh Pirates 9
Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 7:05pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala



#955 Cincinnati
#956 Pittsburgh


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It’s the continuation of a weekend series between the bottom two teams in the NL Central in the Steel City. The Cincinnati Reds are on the road as they play the middle game of a three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday night. Cincinnati won 4-2 in the rubber game of their three-game set at home with the Padres Wednesday night. Pittsburgh dropped three of four at home to the Nationals as they were dumped 7-1 in the finale Thursday night. The pitching matchup for Friday’s series opener saw Anthony DeSclafani take the mound for the Reds against the Pirates’ Mitch Keller. First pitch in that contest was scheduled for 7:05 pm ET.

Cincinnati Reds Try to Hang in Wild Card Picture

Cincinnati won their second straight as they downed the Padres in the rubber game of their three-game set Wednesday night. The Reds entered Friday fourth in the NL Central, 8.5 games behind the Cubs: they were eight games behind the second wild card spot. Cincinnati got two hits each from Jose Iglesias (run, RBI), Eugenio Suarez (run, RBI), Phil Ervin and Freddy Galvis (RBI) in the victory. Luis Castillo (12-5) earned the win as he bounced back from a dismal outing in his previous start. He threw six innings, allowing one run on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Raisel Iglesias worked the ninth, striking out two, for his 26th save of the year.

Alex Wood takes the ball for his sixth start of the season for the Reds in this contest. He comes in 1-2 with a 5.92 ERA, a 1.521 WHIP, four walks and 21 strikeouts over 24.1 innings of work this season. Wood took the loss in his last start, which came at home against the Cardinals Sunday afternoon. He threw five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts in a 5-4 Reds defeat. Wood is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA, a 1.85 WHIP, two walks and 12 strikeouts over 13 innings in his last three starts. He is 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, nine walks and 50 strikeouts over 50 innings in nine career appearances, eight starts, against the Pirates. Wood is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA, a 0.908 WHIP, four walks and 22 strikeouts over 25.1 innings in four career starts at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh Pirates Hoping to Reverse Second Half Doldrums

Pittsburgh lost three of four to the Nationals at home and dropped to 8-30 since the All-Star break as they were trounced Thursday. The Pirates entered Friday in the basement of the NL Central, 17 games behind the Cubs and 16.5 games behind the second wild card spot. Pittsburgh got two hits from Kevin Newman while Adam Frazier accounted for the Pittsburgh offense with his seventh homer of the season. Steven Brault (3-3) turned in a quality start but took the loss: he allowed two runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts over six innings.

Trevor Williams gets the call for his 20th start of the year for the Pirates in this one. He has a 5-6 mark with a 5.65 ERA, a 1.453 WHIP, 32 walks and 81 strikeouts over 106.2 innings of work on the season. Williams took the loss in his last start, which came Monday at home against the Nationals. He allowed eight runs (six earned) on six hits with three walks and one strikeout over two innings in a game the Pirates lost 13-0. Williams is 1-2 with a 12.75 ERA, a 2.50 WHIP, nine walks and four strikeouts over 12 innings in his last three starts. He is 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA, a 1.368 WHIP, nine walks and 34 strikeouts over 45.1 innings in 10 career appearances, seven starts, against the Reds. Williams is 14-13 with a 4.02 ERA, a 1.271 WHIP, 66 walks and 175 strikeouts over 235.1 innings in 46 career appearances, 40 starts, at PNC Park.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Pittsburgh has struggled offensively of late and that’s been a major reason the team has dropped five of their last six games. In that six-game stretch, the Pirates totaled seven runs and four of those came in their lone win over that run. Going back to last Friday’s walk-off win over the Cubs, Pittsburgh has just 10 runs in seven games while allowing 43 over that period of time. Wood has struggled since coming off the injured list but the Reds have been decent offensively. Williams was hammered in his last start, lasting just two frames, and he’s not missing bats at all right now. Cincinnati gets the upper hand in this contest.

Prediction: Cincinnati Reds -105

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Pittsburgh’s offensive struggles in the second half has helped dump them right out of the playoff race. The Pirates are averaging 3.84 runs per game in the second half of the season and their hitting has fallen right off a cliff. After posting a .271/.327/.437 slash line in the first half of the season, the Bucs have seen that mark drop to .239/.301/.379 since the All-Star break. Cincinnati hasn’t been as explosive offensively this season as they have been in previous years, ranking 21st in runs per game with 4.52 per contest. The Reds have been good on the mound: can their pitching carry them again in this one?

We’ve discussed the lack of offensive production for the Pirates in the second half of the season in general and over the last week in particular. Cincinnati has been very good on the mound, ranking eighth in the majors with a 4.15 team ERA. Given that the Pirates have scored one run or less in five of their last six games, you have to lean toward this one falling under the total. It’s tough to trust the Pirates to do anything to contribute toward going over the total.

Prediction: Under 9

First Five Innings Side Pick

Insiders Status:


Pittsburgh can’t score runs or even get enough guys on base to try and pose a threat offensively on a regular basis. Williams was blasted by the Nationals earlier this week, lasting only two frames in a game that saw the Pirates blanked 13-0. While the Reds don’t have the power game that Washington has right now, they have the ability to take advantage of bad pitching. Cincinnati has gone 10-10 since the last series between the teams, which was marred by a brawl that led to eight suspensions. Pittsburgh is 5-14 since that point: give the Reds the edge after five innings.

Prediction: Cincinnati Reds

First Five Innings Total Bet

Insiders Status:


Williams has to get back on track: it seemed like he had a breakout last season when he had a hot second half of the year. This season, like it has for so many Pirates pitchers, has been a washout. He’s been injured at times and has been shelled in other outings. In his last three starts, he’s allowed 19 runs, giving up at least five in each contest. The problem with the Pirates isn’t just pitching as hitting has been an issue as well. Cincinnati has to get better work from Wood but in the end, this one ends up under the number after five innings as Pittsburgh fails to get anything going.

Prediction: Under

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.