Reds vs. Pirates Pick MLB – May 1st

We notched a nice plus-money underdog winner with the Nationals taking down the Cardinals 6-1 to take the first two games of this supposedly-evenly matched series.  It was our eighth plus-money MLB day in ten tries and we finally have some great momentum going in this young season.   We will try to keep it rolling today and cap off the week with a Sunday matinee winner.

We have been red-hot, but nothing compared to the New York Mets.  Remember just a week ago when there was a little consternation over the defending NL Champ’s slow start?  They’ve now ripped off eight straight wins and are tied with the Nationals in the loss column and sporting the third-best record in all of baseball.  Jacob deGrom is back in the rotation, Noah Syndergaard might have the best “stuff” in all of baseball and that would make Matt Harvey an insanely good “third starter” (a designation he, and many Mets fans would obviously bristle at and one I am using tongue-in-cheek – he’s a top-of-the rotation stud).  It makes today’s afternoon MadBum/Thor matchup absolute must-watch television for baseball fans.  The Mets are actually -131, making it a rare occasion one can back MadBum at plus-money (and I ain’t TOUCHING it…)

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Today’s Free Pick:

Cincinnati Reds +131 at Pittsburgh Pirates -136 (Total: 7.5)

Tim Adleman (0-0, 0.00 ERA – first start) vs. Jeff Locke (1-2, 5.03 ERA)

The Mets have been streaking more impressively, but the Pirates are on a nice run themselves, vaulting back up into the standings and staying within impressive striking range of the Cubs.  Of course, the Mets and Pirates have one common theme this week that has benefited both greatly; the both got to play the Reds.

Cincinnati enters today as losers of six straight and they have scored just 1.6 runs in the process.  Their offense is non-existent right now, and facing Jeff Locke might seem like a reprieve, but their head-to-head results actually favor Locke.  He owns a 3.14 ERA in 12 career starts against the Reds and held them to a single Eugenio Suarez solo homer in their first meeting this season.

Then there are the Reds pitching issues.  They have the worst bullpen ERA in the NL at 6.23, nearly a full run worse than anyone else in the league.  And today they are bringing up a 28 year old career minor leaguer for a spot start.  It feels unlikely he lasts more than five or six innings and leaves without allowing at least a few runs.

In short, it’d be FAR more surprising than the mere +131 if the Reds won today.  I’d consider them at +175 or higher, but +130 is ridiculous.  They are BIG underdogs today and I think the Pirates cap off the sweep with relative ease.

Today’s Free Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates to WIN -136

Chris Scheeren / Author