Pirates vs Reds MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions April 5

Updated: April 5, 2021

Nick Castellanos had a big opening series, blasting two home runs and collecting six hits to help the Reds take two of three games from the Cardinals at home.

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In what no one would describe as the highlight of the 13-game MLB betting slate Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates visit the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. 

But, fans can expect some runs, as the Reds flexed their offensive muscle and won their three-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals to kick off the season, while the Pirates struggled to generate much at the dish and dropped two of three to the Chicago Cubs. 

Find out who we like in this series opener with our best free picks and predictions for Pirates vs. Reds at 6:40 p.m. ET. 

Pirates vs Reds odds

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The line opened at Cincinnati -137, with the total at 9.0. Early action favored the Reds and the Over/Under bumped up to 9.5. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Pirates vs Reds betting preview

Starting pitchers

J.T. Brubaker (2020: 1-3, 4.94 ERA): The 27-year-old made his major league debut last season after an arm injury limited him to 27.2 innings in the minors in 2019. A sixth-round pick of the Pirates in the 2015 draft, Brubaker made 11 appearances and nine starts and struck out a batter per inning over 47.1 frames. He put up a 4.94 ERA and then a 5.40 ERA over five spring starts, but the rebuilding Pirates have nothing to lose by giving him an extended look.  

Jose De Leon (2020: 0-0, 18.00 ERA): De Leon made his major league debut in 2016 but has spent the bulk of that time in the minor leagues, appearing in just 13 MLB games and logging 29.2 innings. He hasn’t started since 2016 but he impressed with swing-and-miss stuff during spring training (but also had an 8.64 ERA) and injuries to the Reds’ starting staff created an opportunity for him in the rotation. The 28-year-old has big strikeout potential and should flash that against the light-hitting Pirates.


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Key injuries

Pirates: Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B (Out).
Reds: Jesse Winker OF (Questionable), Shogo Akiyama OF (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Cincinnati is 10-1 in its last 11 home games against a right-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Pirates vs. Reds.

Runline pick

The Reds have come out swinging. They have a National League-leading 27 runs scored through three games after putting up totals of six, nine, and then 12 in a series-clinching blowout win over the Cardinals. 

Nick Castellanos homered in two of the three games and collected six hits in the series and is off to a hot start after a down year in the shortened 2020 season. Castellanos hit 14 bombs in 60 games last year but his .225/.298/.486 slash line left a lot to be desired coming off a big 2019 campaign that netted him a four-year, $64-million deal. He’s a career .274 hitter and had shown better on-base skills in recent seasons, so him getting back on track will go a long way to evening out a Reds lineup that has some dangerous power bats – including Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, and Mike Moustakas – but is far too reliant on the long ball. 

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is in for a long year. The club lost NL Rookie of the Year favorite Ke’Bryan Hayes to a wrist injury Saturday, which required an IL stint, and entered the season with the lowest projected win total in baseball. 

The Pirates opened with a 5-3 win over the Cubs before losing the next two games of the series. They’ve scored nine runs through three contests (the Reds have scored three times as much in as many games!) and were the worst offensive team in the majors in 2020 by nearly every meaningful metric. 

They’re going to struggle to score against anyone and playing a Cincinnati team that has power at GABP is not the recipe for getting back in the win column.

PREDICTION: Cincinnati -1.5 (+130)

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Over/Under pick

Cincinnati is averaging nine runs per game – the O/U for this contest has been set at 9.5 – but before the Reds inevitably regress offensively, they should continue punishing opposing pitchers, starting with this favorable three-game set against the Pirates.

Brubaker faces a tough matchup pitching to the hot-hitting Reds on the road and an already busy Pirates bullpen should be ready for more action. Pittsburgh relievers threw more than half the innings in the series against Chicago, so early fatigue will be something to watch with this group.

De Leon, meanwhile, will generate whiffs, but he also struggles with control and will give Pittsburgh opportunities to cash in on his wildness. The Pirates likely only need to plate a few runs in this contest to cash the Over with the way the Reds have been swinging the bat. 

Cincinnati has homered six times through three games and went Over in all three contests at home versus St. Louis. Back at the bandbox that is Great American Ball Park, where the Reds performed significantly better last season (102 wRC+, .332 wOBA, third in baseball in homers at home compared to an 80 wRC+, .292 wOBA, 24th in homers on the road), this is a great opportunity for the Reds to go to 4-0 O/U. 

PREDICTION: Over 9.5 (-120)

Pirates vs Reds betting card

  • Cincinnati -1.5 (+130)
  • Over 9.5 (-105)

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