MLB Betting Preview: Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Monday, May 27, 2019
Matchup at a Glance
When: Monday, May 27, 2019, at 7:10 PM ET
Where: Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio
Moneyline: Cincinnati Reds -215
Betting Total: 9 Runs
Pirates Continue to Hang in Race
Pittsburgh has been decimated by injuries this season, but despite the revolving door to the PNC Bank Park clubhouse, they have maintained a .500 record and are only 4.5 games out of the division lead in the National League Central. To put this accomplishment into perspective, they have already used 40 different players in games this season, and they used 48 all of last season.
The Pirates will start their top pitching prospect, Mitch Keller. Keller was 5-0 with a 3.45 ERA at AAA Indianapolis this season. He struck out 56 batters in 47 innings.
The Pirates’ offense continues to be led by first baseman Josh Bell. His torrid season continues as he has remained in the mix for the triple crown. Bell is hitting .339 with 16 home runs and 47 RBI. His rankings in the National League are second in batting average, fourth in home runs, and second in RBI.
The reason the Pirates are tied for third and not leading the division is the fact that the next leading hitter in Pittsburgh’s starting lineup is hitting 86 points lower than Bell’s .339. Starling Marte is hitting .253, and that is the second-best batting average on the entire team with the qualifying number of at-bats to compete for a batting title.
Reds Look to Go on a Run
After losing their first eight games, the Cincinnati Reds now find themselves only four games below .500 and only 6.5 games behind the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. The Reds have gotten themselves back into the race with pitching. Cincy has the second-best ERA in the National League behind the Los Angeles Dodgers at 3.60.
The Reds will start Sonny Gray, who will be looking to improve on his 1-4 record. He has a decent 3.78 ERA to go along with his record. Gray has struck out 57 batters in 50 innings. Gray is coming off one of his best outings in 2019, where he threw six shutout innings against the Brewers on Tuesday. In his career against Pittsburgh, he is 0-3 with a 5.19 ERA.
The key to the Reds’ success the rest of the summer is going to have to lie with their hitters. Cincinnati is hitting just .228 as a team, good for 13th out of the 15-team National League. Their leading hitter, shortstop Jose Iglesias, is hitting .307, but it goes downhill fast after that. The next two leading hitters are Eugenio Suarez at .274, and Joey Votto at .232. Suarez leads the team in home runs and RBI, with 14 and 37, respectively.
The hardest thing to do as a hitter is prepare for someone you’ve never seen. I believe this will be a factor in this game. Take Pittsburgh to win this one.