There might not be a more important series in the last two decades for the Pittsburgh Pirates than the one that starts on Monday night in MLB betting action against the Cincinnati Reds.
Pittsburgh is really starting to fade, and it could be in a lot of trouble. The team is 2.5 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for that last Wild Card slot, and there are others that are catching up to it as well. The Pirates badly need to win this series and get some momentum going once again. Wandy Rodriguez has been on a tear over the course of his last two starts, allowing just seven hits and four walks without giving up a run in 13 frames in wins against the Cards and the Houston Astros, his former team. Rodriguez is 10-13 this year in total with a 3.71 ERA. More importantly though, he has three big time wins for his newest team, and all of those wins have come in a matter of his last four starts. He really has no choice but to keep that going over the course of the rest of the regular season, or the Pirates are going to be in a whole heck of a lot of trouble.
The Reds are counting down their magic number right now, and entering Monday, they have just a number of 14 to clinch up the NL Central. That being said, Manager Dusty Baker and the crew are far more interested in becoming the top team in the National League. Cincinnati is 2.5 games back of the Washington Nationals for that spot. Mat Latos has had himself a heck of a year for the Reds, including the fact that he has allowed just three runs on nine hits and five walks in his last 14 frames. Both of those starts resulted in victories. Latos is 12-4 on the campaign, and he has a pair of complete games. He is likely to set a career high in innings pitched on this campaign, and he is 32 strikeouts away from a career best in strikeouts as well. Latos figured to struggle, moving from San Diego out here to the Great American Ballpark, and though he has allowed seven more homers than the most in his career in a single season, batters are still hitting just .234 against him, and his ERA has only modestly suffered.
These two sets of bats just aren’t going to be able to get going on Monday night. Both Latos and Rodriguez have been too good for too much time, and we aren’t ones to go against recent trends in sports betting, but especially in baseball betting. Pittsburgh 3 – Cincinnati 2