The Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds find themselves in the cellar of the National League Central and looking for bright spots to build on for the future as they do battle in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Cincinnati Reds vs Pirates Pirates (-120, 8.5)
It will be Justin Dunn’s third start of the season after he spent much of it on the injured list and his return to the big leagues has been unpleasant with four home runs and eight runs allowed in 8.1 innings.
Dunn has also had command issues throughout his career, issuing 5.5 walks per nine innings at the minor league level this season and is issuing 5.9 walks per nine innings at the MLB level for his career.
A lack of length from Dunn is not ideal for a Reds bullpen that is last in the league in bullpen ERA while the Pirates are 12th in the league in bullpen ERA over the past 35 days.
The Pirates will likely rely on that bullpen quite a bit with Tyler Beede making his fourth start of the season after starting the year in the bullpen, posting a 3.49 ERA in 20 appearances with the Pirates since being acquired during the season from the San Francisco Giants with an opponents .230 batting average since getting to Pittsburgh.
The Reds enter Saturday have scored four runs or fewer in two of their last 17 games and the lack of offense coupled with rough pitching will lead to what’s been a down year for the Reds to continue.
The Play: Pirates -120
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