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April 6th NL Free Pick

Are the Pirates Being Underdogs at Home to Cincinnati a Trap Play?

There’s some weird line movement in the Cincinnati at Pittsburgh April 6th NL free pick. The Pirates are off to a 5-1 start on this young season and opened as -105 favorites in Friday night’s home contest. The line has since shifted to favor Cincinnati at -127. As a reminder, the Reds are 1-4 on the year. Is today’s game a blatant trap?How on Earth could the Reds be favored?

Reds Have One Win on the Season

April 6th NL free pick
Even Votto has struggled this year with just a .158 average.

Cincinnati dropped the opener in this series last night, falling 2-5 as +135 underdogs. The Reds were outmatched in their opening series against Washington, and have posted a 1-0 win over Chicago in a rain saturated one-game series. The Reds offense has struggled to produce runs, scoring 2 or less in 3 of 5 games this year. Cincinnati has the 5th worst scoring offense in baseball and the 7th poorest batting average. Yet, Bryan Price’s team is favored in the April 6th NL free pick?

Today’s Cincinnati starter is Luis Castillo and he wasn’t exactly sharp in his opener, allowing 6ER in 5.0 IP to the Nationals. Perhaps one of the reasons Cincinnati is favored today is because Castillo fared well against Pittsburgh in his two starts a year ago. In back-to-back starts on August 25th and September 1st Castillo gave up just 6 total hits and 3ER over 11.0 IP while striking out 14. The current Pirates who have faced Castillo are only hitting .115 (3-26) against him while Josh Harrison and Starling Marte are a combined 0-9.

Pittsburgh Scored the Win in the Series Opener

April 6th NL free pick
Williams was pulled in the middle of a no-hitter in his first start.

Last night’s 5-2 win was powered by a 3 RBI night from Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco. It was another strong offensive performance from a Pirates team that has scored 5+ runs in 4 of 6 games this season. Pittsburgh ranks 4th in the MLB in runs/game and is 6th in both batting average and on-base percentage. This is a team that was supposed to slack in scoring with Andrew McCutchen gone but Josh Bell has stepped up to hit .375 and Josh Harrison .333. David Freese is one of the few players that have had some success against today’s starter Castillo, as he is 2-5.

Another reason that Pittsburgh being home underdogs in the April 6th NL free pick is today’s starter Trevor Williams. The right-hander hasn’t even allowed a hit this year, taking a no-no into the 6th against Detroit but getting pulled after throwing 85 pitches. Williams did walk five Detroit batters in that game and only struck out one, but it was an impressive first start undoubtedly. Williams made four appearances against Cincinnati last year, two out of the bullpen and two later in the year as a starter. His starts were definitely more impressive – 2 ER allowed in 12.1 IP compared to 4 ER in 4.0 IP in relief.

April 6th NL Free Pick Betting

Cincinnati is still favored at a lot of places such as Bovada (-118) but are underdogs at others such as Betcris +113. The public is not hammering this game – just 56% on the Pirates – which is good. There’s value to be had on Pittsburgh, but in a case like this game you just have to look for it.

Free Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates

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Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor.

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