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Reds vs. Pirates Pick – April 12th

We are almost a week and a half into the baseball season, and things are already settling into where they are supposed to in the National League… somewhat.  The Nationals, Cubs, Mets and Dodgers have all gotten off to reasonable starts, the Braves and Brewers look lousy and the Rockies were thought to be possible playoff contenders this year (including by yours truly).  But what is going on with Arizona and Cincinnati?  It’s early, YES, but the starts from two clubs picked to finish at or near the bottom of their divisions, the early returns are very encouraging.

Arizona is healthy after losing a lot of games from key players like AJ Pollock and have Zach Greinke in his second season.  The Reds had a historically bad bullpen last year, but through a week and a half, including road trips to St. Louis and Pittsburgh, has been the BEST in the league.

Will either continue?  Perhaps not.  But it is what makes every Opening Day exciting – hope springs eternal as the poetic paen goes.

We evened up our record with the last baseball pick and are on the plus-side of the ledger thanks to a few underdogs.  Let’s build tonight and see if we can cash in again.

Today’s MLB Pick:

Cincinnati Reds +150 at Pittsburgh Pirates -162 (Total: 8)
Amir Garrett vs. Ivan Nova

The Reds have the best run differential in the NL and are sending out their promising rookie, Amir Garrett, for his second start of the season and in search of another scoreless outing.  The former St. John’s basketball star looked dominant in six shutout innings against the Cardinals, sparking some serious optimism for the top pitching prospect in the Reds organization.

The Pirates will counter with Ivan Nova, who was also awesome in his first start of the year with six scoreless frames.  The former Yankee is going to be a big part of the Pirates playoff hopes this season.

But the biggest problem for Pittsburgh has been their inability to hit.  They have had runners on base lately, but can’t bring them in.  And they might need to score tonight as Nova has a career ERA approaching four against the Reds.

Cincinnati is playing loose and free and getting AWESOME bullpen efforts.  I like them at the value price tonight to get a nice effort from Garrett – who I THINK might be the real deal already.  Plus 150 is a good price for a team with the early season splits of the Reds.

Today’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds to WIN +150