Matchup: Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Date/Time: April 21st, 7:05 PM ET

Television: ESPN

MLB Betting Odds from Sportsbook

Probable Starters: Leake (Cincinnati) vs. Liriano (Pittsburgh)

Moneyline: Pittsburgh -132

Total: 7

A National League Central match-up will be featured in Major League Baseball betting action when the Cincinnati Reds face the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night at 7:05 ET at PNC Park on ESPN. This Monday night game will open up what will be a four game series in the three rivers city.

The Reds finished up taking two of three games from the Chicago Cubs in the windy city on Easter Sunday. As a -137 ‘favorite’ they handcuffed Chicago 8-2 in the rubber match. Jay Bruce and Zach Cozart both hit homeruns for Cincinnati in the win as Bruce finished 2-for-5 and Cozart 3-for-5 in a dominating win over a weak Cubs team. The offense has gotten off to a solid start for the Redlegs scoring 4.11 runs per game behind the league’s No. 9 batting average at .258 thus far. Cincy will send right handed pitcher Mike Leake to the hill on Monday night as he carries a 2-1 record into this game. Leake faced Pittsburgh in his last start six days ago and had a solid outing throwing 6.2 innings, giving up five hits, and three runs while striking out eight batters in a 7-5 win at home. He has a 2.95 ERA in 21.1 innings of work in this young season. The Reds will definitely have to get off to a fast start offensively as they face one of the better pitchers in all of baseball.

The Pirates ran into one of the hottest teams in the league and only won one game out of four in a series with the Milwaukee Brewers. They got a solid outing from pitcher Gerrit Cole on Sunday as he threw 8.0 innings letting up six hits and just one run in the 3-2 loss. Pittsburgh really shot itself in the foot as it left 16 runners stranded on base and missed plenty of opportunities to win the game. It will need to find a way to capitalize on getting those runners home in this contest. Neil Walker was a bright spot in the game as he hit his sixth homer of the year and went 3-for-6 from the plate. The Pirates will send pitcher Francisco Liriano to the mound on Monday who has started the season with a 0-3 record. He hasn’t given up anything more than four runs in any of his starts and even shutout the Cubs on opening day, but received a no decision. If he has an outing like that there won’t be any chance the Pirates lose this game on their home field where they are a respectable 5-5 ATS this season.

The Pirates are due to have a big offensive outbreak and this might be just the game the doctor ordered to get them going again. Cincy is just 2-6 SU in Leake’s L/8 road starts in Pittsburgh and that stat doesn’t bode well for the road team. We like the Pirates to get things popping on Monday night and bring home Liriano’s first victory of the season.

Cincinnati Reds @ Pittsburgh Pirates Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates -132