Game time: 3:05 p.m. ET
Venue: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Where to watch: Bally Sports Ohio, AT&T SportsNet-PIT
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Reds -160, Pirates +140
Season record (entering Saturday)
Reds: 82-78 (3rd place, NL Central)
Pirates: 60-100 (Last place, NL Central)
Ben Burns has been around long enough to know that it's never over until it's over. Last night was a painful reminder. The Diamondbacks had a 7-0 lead entering the sixth inning, yet couldn't seal the deal. Off that tough loss and now 8-3 his last 11 MLB, Ben HITS BACK HARD Saturday. Catch Ben’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.
Reds - Pirates preview and analysis
Recent form (entering Saturday)
Reds: lost 3 straight
Pirates: 4-6 in last 10
The long, insufferable season of the Pittsburgh Pirates is nearly coming to an end. And the almost-Cinderella-like story of the Cincinnati Reds will be done on Sunday.
At least the good news is the Reds will finish above .500 but Friday was a microcosm to what has been the case with this season with the fine folks of Cincinnati. The Reds tied it 1-1 in the eighth inning on an RBI single from Max Shrock.
Then everything went haywire. The Pirates scored eight runs in the bottom half of the frame, highlighted by a grand slam from Cole Tucker to push the lead to eight. Cincinnati added a run in the top of the ninth off a Jose Barrero triple, but that was far too little, far too late.
The Pirates have yet to name a starter for Sunday, but the Reds will send left-hander Reiver Sanmartin to the mound. He has a 1-0 record with a 1.59 ERA.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued by the Reds' baseball season. Watching Joey Votto's homers trigger the power resurgence, to the superstardom that was Nick Castellanos, to the off chance that they could catch the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central race.
They just couldn't put together a win streak like the St. Louis Cardinals had in September as basic as that may sound. St. Louis' knack for winning 17 in a row just doomed the Reds. That shouldn't take away from the powerful season they had that almost resulted in the postseason. Jonathan India has emerged into a fine player and he'll be a contributor for years to come. Also can't leave out Barrero who is high on the Reds' organization ladder.
Get some more pitching and maybe another bat, and the Reds are in prime position to make another run at the Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers for what is a crowded division.
Two great things happened this season with the Pirates: Bryan Reynolds continued to be the cornerstone of this franchise, and Pittsburgh is on the verge of another No. 1 pick in the MLB Draft. One of these things is not like the other, but such are times with the Pirates.
The Pirates' rebuild is going to be an agonizing one. Trading Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres might actually work out in their favor, but building around Reynolds and Ke'Bryan Hayes is not a bad way to go. If you're a Pittsburgh fan, be glad there's some hope.
In a game that won't matter, never discount the desire for the home team to finish on a semi-strong note. The Pirates don't need much motivation to win this one. This is usually the best time of year for teams with nothing to play for to have exactly what they want to play for. Pirates win 7-5
The Reds are 29-22 (-3.6 net games on the money line) when a favorite between -125 and -175.
The Pirates are 27-38 as a home underdog this season.
Max Schrock (L) 2B
Tyler Stephenson (R) C
Nick Castellanos (R) RF
Joey Votto (L) 1B
Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
Jose Barrero (R) SS
TJ Friedl (L) LF
Delino DeShields (R) CF
Reiver Sanmartin (L) P
Cole Tucker (S) 2B
Yoshi Tsutsugo (L) RF
Bryan Reynolds (S) CF
Colin Moran (L) 1B
Michael Chavis (R) 3B
Ben Gamel (L) LF
Jacob Stallings (R) C
Oneil Cruz (L) SS
Probable starting pitchers at first pitch: Sanmartin (CIN) vs. TBD (PIT)
Batting average: Nick Castellanos (.308)
Hits: Nick Castellanos (162)
Home runs: Joey Votto (35)
RBI: Nick Castellanos (97)
Stolen bases: Jonathan India (12)
Wins: Tyler Mahle (13)
Saves: Two tied (8)
ERA: Wade Miley (3.37)
Batting average: Bryan Reynolds (.298)
Hits: Bryan Reynolds (116)
Home runs: Bryan Reynolds (24)
RBI: Bryan Reynolds (89)
Stolen bases: Ke’Bryan Hayes (9)
Wins: Chris Stratton (7)
Saves: Chris Stratton (7)
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