MLB Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Pirates vs. Reds, Angels vs. Guardians for September 14, 2022

Andres Gimenez
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 30: Andrés Giménez #0 of the Cleveland Guardians celebrates hitting a walk off two-run home run off Tyler Thornburg of the Minnesota Twins to defeat the Twins 5-3 at Progressive Field on June 30, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

We went 0-2 on Monday with our Sunday Night Baseball system. That happens, we have to play it regardless as it’s one of those systems that over the full season, it’s profitable. We have two more early game picks as the night games aren’t doing it for me.

More props are available on the podcast.

2022 MLB Regular Season Record: 202-170 (54%) +32.74 Units

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds: 12:35 pm EST

Roansy Contreras (RHP, Pirates) [5-4, 3.29 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 79.1 IP, 71 K, 35 BB]

Nick Lodolo (LHP, Reds) [4-5, 3.78 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 81 IP, 102 K, 30 BB]

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We head to Cincinnati for the last game of a four-game set. The Pirates won the first three games including a doubleheader yesterday. It’s been bad for the Reds so far and now they’ll throw out their up-incoming ace in Nick Lodolo. Opposing him will be another excellent young arm in Roasney Contreras. This could be a battle of aces in a few years and I think we’ll see a glimpse of it today.

I’ll be betting the first five innings in this one. Both bullpens were used up in yesterday’s double-header so I’d rather play the first five innings here.

Roansy Conteras’ numbers are a bit concerning. He’s been one of the luckiest pitchers in baseball this season by xERA. His xERA sits at 4.55 which is far above his 3.29 ERA for the season. The issue here is the hard-hit which sits in the first percentile, along with average exit velocity in the 12th percentile. If he was facing a team with a high hard-hit rate, I’d be concerned.

Luckily for him, the Reds are a pesky offense, but they don’t hit the ball very hard. In September so far, they rank 24th in Hard-Hit rate against righties. In the past 28 days, they rank 27th. Contreras has nasty stuff, and I think this Reds team is due for a let-down after three straight wins. Contreras has also been sneaky good during the day, rocking a 1.91 ERA through 28 innings.

It’ll be hard for the Pirates to score against Nick Lodolo today. Lodolo has just gotten better and better and is pitching like one of the best pitchers in his division. He’s allowed just two runs over 14 innings in his last two starts and his xERA sits at 3.72. Lodolo has also pitched much better at home this season, rocking a 2.57 ERA to a 5.63 ERA on the road.

This Pirates team hasn’t hit a lefty all year and they don’t have many imposing right-handed bats at all. The team is ranked 24th in wRC+ against southpaws this month, and the two-week sample is too small to evaluate.

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I won’t be dealing with either bullpen because I’m weary of the work they’ve put in. I’d rather tail these two starting pitchers and take the under through the first five innings. This should be low scoring matchup through the first five.

The Pick: Pirates vs. Reds First 5 Under 4 (-105)

1.05 Units to Win 1 Unit


Los Angeles Angels vs. Cleveland Guardians: 1:10 pm EST

Patrick Sandoval (LHP, Angels) [5-9, 2.98 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 127 IP, 131 K, 53 BB]

Cal Quantrill (RHP, Guardians) [12-5, 3.50 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 157 IP, 108 K, 43 BB]

Plenty of reasons to not take the Guardians today. The line is getting a ton from the public, yet has either not budged or moved in the direction of the Angels. The Guardians bullpen will most likely be without Emmanual Clase and things look weary for the Guardians.

I could get fancy and take the first five under, but I am who I am. I don’t take Quantrill props, I don’t really take unders either. When Cal Quantrill pitches, I take Guardian’s money line. That’s that.

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The Pick: Cleveland Guardians ML (-120)

1.2 Units to Win 1 Unit