MLB Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Reds vs. Pirates for September 26, 2022

Ke'Bryan Kayes
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 21: Ke'Bryan Hayes #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates after scoring in the 5th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 21, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Successful week in MLB! We went 6-4, worth 2.15 units in the green. We are nearing the end of the season, and in my opinion, this is the hardest stretch to handicap. You’ll most likely see me limit myself to one, maybe two picks a day at the most. This is the time when teams are more motivated or less motivated and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to trust the numbers.

With that said, I do have a pick today in the MLB, two MLB player props, a pick for Monday Night Football, as well as a player prop in the NFL. Below you’ll find my MLB pick, and all other picks will be on the podcast.

2022 MLB Regular Season Record: 213-176 (55%) +38.19 Units

Cincinatti Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates: 6:35 pm EST

Chase Anderson (RHP, Reds) [2-3, 5.21 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 19 IP, 18 K, 11 BB]

Roansy Contreras (RHP, Pirates) [5-5, 3.68 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 88 IP, 84 K, 37 BB]

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We head to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, one of the best stadiums in Major League Baseball, for the first game of a three-game set. The Reds just played the Pirates in the middle of September where Pittsburgh swept them in four games. The Reds just finished up a four-game series against Milwaukee and now have to make the travel to Pittsburgh without an off-day. It’s not much of a trip, but the Pirates get to sleep in their own beds after a four-game series against the Cubs.

This starting pitching matchup is pretty one-sided. Roansy Contreras is a 22-year-old flamethrower who features a three-pitch mix of a 96 MPH fastball, a tight slider, and a curveball that’s in the 83rd percentile in spin rate. He’s still very raw, but he will be a good pitcher one day. His stuff profile is excellent and once he hones in his command, the world is his oyster.

What matter for him today though is how he matches up with the Reds. Contreras is more comfortable pitching at home, rocking a 3.22 ERA compared to a 4.15 ERA on the road. He’s faced the Reds twice this season and performed pretty well. He’s thrown 10 innings while only allowing two earned runs while striking out 10 batters.

Chase Anderson is not a young phenom like Contreras is. He’s a 34-year-old journeyman that has bounced around the league but found a home in Cincinnati. He has put together a solid September, throwing 16.2 innings while only allowing four runs. He hasn’t faced the Pirates yet this season, but it’s hard to imagine him having continued success with rough command and a below-average stuff profile.

The Pirates’ offense has also been much better than the Reds of late against right-handed pitching. In the month of September, the Pirates have an 88 wRC+ against righties while the Reds rank second to last with a 71 wRC+. In the last three weeks, the Pirates jump to a 96 wRC+, while the Reds drop to last with a 69 wRC+. Last two weeks, the Pirates are rocking an 80 wRC+, and the Reds fall even further to a 54 wRC+.

The Pirates’ offense has been up and down while the Reds’ offense continues to get worse against righties. The Pirates have a clear pitching advantage and when you combine that with home field and a better offense at the moment, that’s plenty enough to take the Pirates through the first five innings.

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The Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates First 5 Innings -0.5 (+100)

1 Unit to Win 1 Unit