The sizzling Reds will look to take their three game set with the Pirates tonight when the two clubs meet for a game two showdown at the Great American Ball Park. This evening’s rivalry tilt between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati is scheduled to get underway at 7:10pm ET. The latest MLB Odds have the hosting Reds listed as a -130 moneyline favorite; the Under 9 runs is also drawing favored status, presently going off at -125 odds. Pittsburgh is getting +120 odds to even the series at a game apiece.
Pittsburgh (60-45) has had a solid start to the season’s second half, posting a 12-8 record since the All-Star break, but its gained no ground on Cincinnati in the race to win the National League Central. The Reds improved to 65-41 last night and extended their division lead over the Pirates to 4.5 games with a 3-0 series opening win. The victory represented Cincy’s 18th in its last 21 games.
The Reds will shoot for the their fifth consecutive series win tonight with 24 year old Mike Leake toeing the rubber. Leake owns a 4-7 and 4.44 ERA after a horrendous outing against the Padres on Monday. The right hander allowed five hits and five earned runs over 1.2 innings in a 5-11 loss to San Diego. If Leake’s home numbers are any indication, he could be in for another rough start today. The second year pro, who is making his ninth career start against the Pirates (1-3 with a 3.16 ERA), is 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA and .323 batting average against in 11 appearances at the Great American Ball Park this season.
Pittsburgh, which fell to 27-29 on the road with last night’s setback, will counter Leake with four year veteran James McDonald. McDoanld’s season totals are impressive, a 10-5 record and 3.38 ERA, but his performance of late has left something to be desired. The 27 year old right hander has given up 28 hits, 19 walks, and 20 earned runs in his last four starts (22.2 innings pitched). The Pirates, not surprisingly, went 1-3 in that stretch of games. Perhaps McDonald can rediscover his magic against the Reds; he is 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA in two starts opposite Cincinnati this year.
MLB Odds Betting Trend: Dating back to last season, the Reds are 9-1 in their last 10 games as a home favorite in the month of August.
MLB Odds 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds: Provided by TopBet.eu
Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 (-175), Over 9 (+105), +120 (Moneyline)
Cincinnati Reds -1.5 (+155), Under 9 (-125), -130 (Moneyline)