Matchup: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates
Date/Time: August 30, 4:05 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: CIN: Alfredo Simon (13-8, 3.28) v. PIT: Vance Worley (5-4, 3.14)
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -135
Total: 7.5 -110/-110
After seven scoreless innings on Friday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen was a little bit better than the Cincinnati Reds bullpen as the Pirates escaped with a 2-1 victory. The Pirates became the third team to hit the 70-win mark in the NL Central, while the Reds became the second team to reach 70 losses for the season. The Pirates were able to keep pace in the Wild Card hunt and the Reds fell even farther behind, now 7.5 games behind the pack.
The Reds will send Alfredo Simon to the mound and he’ll be looking to stop some very negative trends. Simon had a magical start to the season. He was 10-3 with a 2.81 ERA over his first 16 starts and the Reds were 13-3 in those outings. Since the start of July, Simon has a 3-5 record and a 4.06 ERA. The Reds are just 3-7 in those 10 starts. Simon’s performance has been respectable, but it’s closer to what the expectations were for the season. Simon failed to make it through six innings in each of his first four starts in August before going seven innings in his last start against Atlanta.
Vance Worley has been the latest surprise for the Pirates as they keep turning castoffs into productive starters. Like they did with Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez, Worley has really struggled over his last three starts, however, with 15 runs allowed in 17.2 innings of work. Before that, Worley had allowed 17 runs in his previous 10 starts and was 5-1. Worley has allowed 30 hits over his last three starts and has been the losing pitcher in all three.
Simon has faced the Pirates 17 times overall, but this will be his third career start against them, all of which have come this season. Simon’s overall numbers are 3-3 with a 2.88 ERA, but he’s 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA as a starter. The Reds are 16-10 for 6.93 units of profit in Simon’s 26 starts this season.
Worley has faced the Reds four previous times with three starts. This season, Worley’s only appearance is a two-inning relief stint with two runs allowed on four hits. He’s 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA in his career. The Pirates are 6-6 in Worley’s 12 starts for a loss of 0.13 units this season.
Free MLB Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Reds are fading fast and their offense is a big reason why. Worley has a 3.00 ERA at home this season and Simon should start to show some signs of fatigue with a big workload for a guy that hasn’t been a starter for a couple of seasons. That could be part of his recent struggles and should be something to watch throughout the remainder of the season.