Reds vs. Pirates Prediction, Odds, Pick and Probable Pitchers for Monday, June 17 (How to Bet Total)

Can Paul Skenes keep the Reds in check in his seventh career start?
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Paul Skenes.
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Paul Skenes. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Two of baseball’s best young stars – Paul Skenes and Elly De La Cruz – will go head-to-head on Monday night in Pittsburgh where the Pittsburgh Pirates host the Cincinnati Reds.

Both of these teams come into this game at 34-37, eight games back of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers and 1.5 games back of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. 

Skenes will make his seventh start of the season for the Pirates, who have thrived when the former No. 1 overall pick is on the mound, but will Pittsburgh give him enough run support to walk away with a win?

The Reds dropped back-to-back games to close out the weekend, but they have a far better run differential (+13) than the Pirates (-28) so far this season. 

Let’s break down the odds, starting pitchers and a best bet for one of the best games on Monday’s nine-game MLB slate. 

Reds vs. Pirates Odds, Run Line and Total

Run Line

  • Reds +1.5 (-130)
  • Pirates -1.5 (+110)


  • Reds: +160
  • Pirates: -192


  • 8 (Over -118/Under -102)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Reds vs. Pirates Probable Pitchers

  • Cincinnati: Carson Spiers (0-0, 2.33 ERA)
  • Pittsburgh: Paul Skenes (3-0. 2.43 ERA)

Reds vs. Pirates How to Watch

  • Date: Monday, June 17
  • Time: 6:40 p.m. EST
  • Venue: PNC Park
  • How to watch (TV): FS1
  • Reds record: 34-37
  • Pirates record: 34-37

Reds vs. Pirates Key Players to Watch

Cincinnati Reds

Elly De La Cruz: An NL MVP candidate – albeit on the outside looking in of the top contenders – De La Cruz has posted a slash line of .235/.334/.438 this season. Those don’t look like MVP numbers, but the Reds shortstop has 12 homers and 36 stolen bases through 71 games. He does lead the NL in strikeouts, but the youngster has already matched his walk total from last season (98 games) through 71 in 2024. 

Pittsburgh Pirates

Paul Skenes: One of the best pitching prospects in baseball, Skenes has been a must watch early on in his MLB career. The hard-throwing righty has led the Pirates to a 5-1 record in his six starts, striking out 46 batters over 33.1 innings of work. He’s yet to allow more than three runs in a start, and Skenes has an impressive 0.96 WHIP so far in his MLB career. 

Reds vs. Pirates Prediction and Pick 

This will be the first start of the season for Reds youngster Carson Spiers, as he’s come out of the bullpen in his first five outings and fared well. 

Spiers has allowed just two earned runs across four appearances since the start of May, and two of those games came against a tough Los Angeles Dodgers lineup. 

Both Spiers and Skenes have solid Fielding Independent Pitching numbers, which tells us that their ERAs are in the right spot for how they’ve pitched in 2024. 

This season, the Reds have been one of the best UNDER teams in the league, going 37-31-3 on the UNDER through 71 contests. The Pirates have hit the OVER (34-33-4) a little more often, but not by a ton. 

So far in 2024, just one of Skenes’ starts has gone under eight combined runs – which is shocking given how few runs he’s allowed – but the Pittsburhg bullpen (4.63 ERA) has been an issue all season. 

Still, I’m going to take a chance on the UNDER here since both of these teams rank in the bottom half of the league in runs scored, with the Pirates clocking in at No. 22. 

Cincy’s bullpen (3.51 ERA) has been more than serviceable in 2024, and it should provide Spiers with some solid backing in this one. The youngster went 5.2 innings out of the pen in his last outing, so the Reds may not have to use as many arms as one may expect when first glancing at this game. 

As for the Pirates, this is a bet on Skenes keeping the Reds in check. 

Cincy has struck out the seventh-most times amongst any team in baseball, and that’s a bad sign going against Skenes, who has registered seven or more strikeouts in five of his six starts in 2024. 

If Skenes and Spiers can hand off a low-scoring game to their bullpens, I think these squads will say just under the eight runs projected in the total. 

Pick: UNDER 8 (-102)

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Peter Dewey


Peter is a senior editor for Sports Illustrated Betting. He has worked as a writer and editor for BetSided, NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering the NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, and more. A New York City resident, he is a hoops fanatic with a soft spot for his New York Knicks.