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Pirates vs. Reds: Picks, predictions, how to watch Game 1 of Thursday’s doubleheader

We go over how to watch Game 1 of Thursday’s doubleheader between the Pirates and Reds and make some picks.

MLB: New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds square off on Thursday with first pitch set for 2:15 p.m ET. The game takes place at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio and will only be available on local TV or on MLB Network. Roansy Contreras will take the mound for the Pirates against Mike Minor for the Reds.

The Pirates (33-48) are 2-3 in their last five games, entering Game 1 of Thursday’s doubleheader off the heels of a 0-16 drubbing at the hands of the Yankees. The Bucs entered the season with low expectations and have gotten what they expected with their offensive and pitching numbers ranking towards the bottom of the league in most statistical categories. Bryan Reynolds has been a bright spot for the Pirates, hitting .256 with 15 HRs and 32 RBI, which lead the team.

The Reds (28-53) enter Thursday’s doubleheader 2-3 in their last five games. Similar to the Pirates, the offense and pitching staff have been largely disappointing this season. The pitching staff has an ERA of 5.46, which ranks dead last in all of baseball. Brandon Drury has been their best hitter this season with a .270 average, 17 HR and 45 RBI.

Pirates vs. Reds

Pitchers: Roansy Contreras vs. Mike Minor
First pitch: 2:15 p.m ET
Pirates local broadcast: ATT SportsNet-PIT
Reds local broadcast: Bally Sports Ohio
Live stream: (subscription)

Odds, picks & predictions

Run Line: Pirates +1.5 (-200), Reds -1.5 (+170)
Run total: 9
Moneyline odds: Pirates (-105), Reds (-115)

Moneyline pick: Reds -115

When two bad teams square off against each other, it's hard to pick, but let's go with the home team in this one. All of the Reds' numbers are up at home as opposed to on the road, so they should be able to ride that one in game one of the double header. They average five runs per game at home as opposed to three on the road. It won't be easy by any stretch, but we’ll take the Reds.

Player prop pick: Roansy Contreras Over 4.5 strikeouts (-105)

The Pirates starter will make start No. 10 of his MLB career, looking for a bounce-back performance from his last outing where he failed to complete 2 innings and allowed 7 runs in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. He has an 8.8 K/9 this season and will see a Reds lineup that strikes out 8.7 times per game, the eighth-most in the league.

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