Sunday afternoon baseball and we will see the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Cincinnati Reds in game 3 of their 3 game series from Cincinnati. The game is scheduled for a 1:10 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on Root Sports (Pittsburgh) and FS Ohio (Cincinnati). Currently the odds have Cincinnati favored at -121, while Pittsburgh is dogs of +114. The total for the game sits at 8 runs.
Free Analysis: The top two teams in the division conclude their three-game set Sunday in Cincinnati, with the Pirates desperate to avoid a sweep that would drop them 6 1/2 games behind the Reds. Offensively, the Pirates (60-46) have failed to find the clutch hit in this series, going 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position in the two losses as their August has started much like last year's August, when they faded from contention by going 8-22. This time, however, the Pirates do have the luxury of chasing two wild-card spots. They currently own a 2 1/2-game lead over St. Louis for the second berth. Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett is 2-0 against the Reds this season and is coming off a one-hit shutout against the Chicago Cubs. Burnett was four outs away from his second career no-hitter when he allowed a hit. Burnett’s next victory will be the second-most in his career. He won 18 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008. Burnett has won three straight decisions and has allowed only three runs during the stretch, all on solo homers. The right-hander upset Reds hitters twice in a five-day span earlier this season, beating them twice while limiting them to four runs and seven hits with 11 strikeouts in 12 innings. Burnett is 4-3 with a 4.96 ERA in nine lifetime starts versus Cincinnati. The presence of the Pittsburgh Pirates has done nothing to slow down the streaking Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati has won five consecutive games as it seeks to complete a three-game home sweep of the Pirates in Sunday’s finale. The Reds, who have the best record in the majors, have won 15 of 16 games to open up a 5 1/2-game lead over Pittsburgh in the National League Central. Homer Bailey has received no-decisions in his last two outings after winning four consecutive starts. He was hit hard in his last start when he allowed six runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings against the San Diego Padres. Bailey has allowed six runs three times this year, one coming in his only career loss against the Pirates on June 5. He is 6-1 with a 2.62 ERA in nine career starts against Pittsburgh. ailey hasn't made many decent pitches against Andrew McCutchen, who is 8 for 22 with two doubles and one triple lifetime against the right-hander. McCutchen, though, is 1 for 7 in this series and 7 for 33 (.212) in nine games versus Cincinnati this season. Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman hasn’t been scored on in his last 19 appearances. Overall, he has 100 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings.
Free Pick: Were gonna take a look at the Over in this one. AJ Burnett is on the mound for Pittsburgh and he has been special this year with a 13-3 mark and a 3.27 ERA overall. He does have a 2.25 ERA in two starts vs the Reds this year, he still has a 4.96 ERA in 9 career starts vs the Reds, and a 5.40 ERA in his lone start here. Let's also note that the first two times he faced them this year, was not when the Reds were as hot as they are now. The Reds are 22-3 in their last 25 games and have scored 4 or more runs in 18 of those games. Cincy has hit .282 and has scored 6 rpg in their last 7 games and should be able to tag Burnett for some runs here. The Pirates offense scores better away from home as they averaged 4.6 rpg on the road and on this current trip they have put up 4 runs or more in 8 of the 9 games played. Pittsburgh is desperate for a win here so you know they will look top get their offense going and Homer Bailey is a good candidate to do that against. Homer has a 5.17 ERA at home and his home starts have averaged 9.5 rpg. He faced Pittsburgh once here this year and he allowed 6 ER';s in just 3 innings of work, So the Prates can hit him. This is a big game for both teams so I don't expect them to rest starters and that has me expecting at least 10 runs in this one.
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MLB Free Picks: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds BettingWhat baseball bettors need to know about Pirates at Reds on Sunday (8/5/12) - with Pregame.com's Vegas Runner and host Marco D'Angelo.