Desperate Reds Attempt to Get on Track Against Pirates

It’s been a rough September for the Cincinnati Reds, but they can get things going down the stretch when they begin a home series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. The game kicks off a stretch of seven in a row against losing teams, giving the Reds the perfect opportunity to gain ground in the MLB playoff race. Of course, the Reds just lost two of three games against the Pirates last week.

According to BetUS, the Reds are favored in Monday’s game with a moneyline of -170. The visiting Pirates have a moneyline of +150. There is also an over/under of nine runs, with the betting odds of -120 for the over and -100 for the under.

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Time’s Running Out

After losing two of three games to the Dodgers over the weekend, the Reds have now lost eight consecutive series. They are just 6-11 during the month of September and have fallen three games off the pace in the Wild Card race. But with 10 of their last 12 games against either the Pirates or the Nationals, the Reds have a golden opportunity to finish strong and give themselves a fighting chance at a playoff spot.

Of course, the Pirates are not going down without a fight late in the season. Pittsburgh has won four consecutive series, giving them eight wins in the team’s last 12 games. If the Pirates can put together a winning record over their final 13 games of the season, they can avoid finishing the 2021 season with 100 losses, which would be a step in the right direction.

This is Working

The Pirates will give the start on Monday to Dillon Peters, who has become the team’s secret weapon down the stretch. The 29-year-old owns a 5.35 ERA in his big league career but has gone 1-2 with a 2.66 ERA over his five starts this season. The lefty seems to have figured something out and tossed five scoreless innings when he faced the Reds last week.

The Cincinnati offense isn’t in any better shape now than the Reds were when they last week. The Reds have averaged just 2.8 runs per game over their last ten games, scoring one run or less in four of those ten games. Jesse Winker was only back from the IL for one game before getting hurt again, while Joey Votto and Kyle Farmer are the only Cincinnati hitters who are anything close to locked in at the moment.

Glad for Vlad

With their lineup sputtering, the Reds will turn to Vladimir Gutierrez, who will be going for his 10th win of the season on Monday. The rookie has made 20 starts this year, going 9-6 with a 4.25 ERA. Gutierrez was brilliant throughout the month of August, only to fall apart in his last starts, including a start against the Pirates in which he allowed four runs over 3.2 innings.

While the Pirates aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, they’ve managed to score at least five runs in four of their last six games. Bryan Reynolds remains a prominent threat in the middle of the order. However, he’s getting a little more help with Yoshi Tsutsugo and Anthony Alford both starting to click offensively.

A Pirate’s Life

With the Reds struggling to win games for the last few weeks, they hold almost no value as the favorite in this game. Gutierrez has become as unreliable as the Cincinnati lineup while Peters is helping to create some optimism for the Pirates. Bet on Pittsburgh as the road underdog on Monday; the betting odds are more than generous!

Meanwhile, the lack of options in Pittsburgh’s lineup and Cincinnati’s struggles point to a low-scoring game. Either team would be lucky to score four or five runs in a game based on recent history, making the under on nine runs a sound bet.
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