Major League Baseball action on Saturday evening and we will see a pair of teams from the National League Central square off as the Cincinnati Reds invade PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA to grapple with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds have taken the first two games of this four-game series. Cincinnati enters this game at 9-24 while the Pirates have gone 13-19.
The Reds Are Getting HotThe Cincinnati Reds got off to a miserable 4-23 start to the year, but they have begun to turn things around. Cincinnati beat the Pirates 8-2 last night and they have now won three games in a row and five of their last six. Still, at 9-24, the Reds have a long way to go to get back in the playoff race. The offense has been what has led the Reds this year so far and even more so of late as they have piled up 7.63 rpg over their last eight games. In their last series, the Reds scored 28 runs in three games against a very good Milwaukee staff, so what the offense is doing now is no fluke. The Pitching needs to be better as the Reds are last in the league in runs allowed at 6.45 rpg. They have allowed just two runs in the first two games of this series, but also gave up 7.80 rpg in their previous 10 games.
Weather update: it's raining dingers pic.twitter.com/uI5S00Lsbq— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 14, 2022
Brandon Drury hit his 7th homer of the year in the win yesterday while Mike Moustakas went deep twice and now has 3 on the young season. Snatching up the win was Tyler Mahle, who allowed just two ERs on five hits in 6.0 innings of work to move to 2-4 with a 5.89 ERA.Toeing the slab for the Reds will be Luis Castillo, who is making just his 1st start of the year. In his 1st start (May 9th), he got a no-decision after allowing three ERs on three hits and three walks with five Ks in 4.2 innings of work. The Reds beat the brewers 10-5 in that game. Last year, Castillo was 8-16 with a 3.98 ERA in 33 starts. In his career, he has gone 17-24 with a 4.35 ERA in 60 starts on the road and 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 12 starts against the Pirates, including 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in five starts against them here at PNC Park.
The PIrates Are StrugglingThrough their first 14 games this year, the Pirates had won two games in a row three times, but they have yet to do it since. Pittsburgh is just 8-12 over their last 20 games after losing the first two of this series. The offense has been an issue for Pittsburgh as they are 25th in the league in scoring at 3.59 rpg and they have put up just 3.33 rpg over their last 15 games. They have put up just two total runs through the first two games in this series and that has to be a major concern as the Reds have the worst staff in the league. Pittsburgh has also struggled on the mound as they are 29th in ERA at 4.89 and that is not good as the Reds may have the hottest offense in the league right now.
Young Hayes ties it! pic.twitter.com/JgEm5HYZJ6— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 13, 2022
Ben Gamel ripped his 3rd homer of the year in yesterday's loss, which was their only home run of the game. Absorbing the loss was Mitch Keller, who allowed five ERs on five hits in 4.2 innings of work to fall to 0-5 with a 6.61 ERA on the yea.The Pirates will trot out Zach Thompson, who has gone 1-3 with a 7.08 ERA in six games (five starts) on the year, including 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA in two starts here at home. In his career, he is 3-4 with a 3.63 ERA in 17 games (9 Starts) in his home games and 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts against the Reds. Thompson has made 19 starts overall in his career and he is 2-10 with a 4.23 ERA in those games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Reds started off the season in miserable fashion but they have turned it around of late having won five of their last six games. The offense has been key for Cincinnati of late as they have averaged 7.63 rpg over their last eight games and they should continue to pile up the runs against a struggling Pittsburgh Staff. The Pirates are 29th in the league in ERA this year and Zach Thompson has a 7.08 ERA so far. Luis Castillo is making just his 2nd start of the year and he has a 2.30 ERA in 12 career starts against the Pirates, plus Pittsburgh has averaged just 3.33 rpg over their last 15 games. I will look for the Reds to stay hot in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Reds will score some runs in this one but I don't see the Pirates contributing enough for this game to go over the total. Yes, Luis Castillo struggled in his first start this year, but he still has a 2.30 ERA against the Pirates in his career and Pittsburgh has scored a total of just two runs in the first two games of this series. Zach Thompson has struggled in the early going, but he does have a 3.00 ERA in three career starts against the Reds. Cincinnati has been on fire offensively, but they will not go cray in this park, which is not hitter-friendly. Lastly, the Under is 4-1 in Pittsburgh's last five home games and that seals the deal for me.