Pittsburgh Pirates (61-66 SU, 66-61 RL, 53-68-6 O/U) vs Cincinnati Reds (53-74 SU, 64-63 RL, 70-52-5 O/U)
When: 7:10 PM EDT, Friday, August 25, 2017
Where: Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio
Lines: Cincinnati -109/ Pittsburgh -101
Tonight in MLB action, a pair of National League Central foes will square off as the Pittsburgh Pirates tangle with the Cincinnati Reds in game one of their three-game series from Great American Ballpark. Pitching Probables: Toeing the rubber for the Pirates in this one will be Ivan Nova (11-10, 3.81 ERA), while the Reds will be sending out Robert Stephenson (1-4, 6.13 ERA).
Pirates Top Dodgers In 10, On Just One Hit
The Pittsburgh Pirates have not been a very good offensive team this year and they were no-hit over nine innings against Rich Hill and the Dodgers on Wednesday night, but still the game was tied 0-0 as it went to extras. Josh Harrison then ended the no-hit bid and he won the game as well with a walk-off homer to give the Pirates the 1-0 win. Sometimes, one hit is all you need and the Pirates proved that. The Homer was Harrison’s 16th of the year. Trevor Williams hasn’t had a great year, but he did blank the powerful Dodgers’ offense over eight innings, but he did allow seven hits and four walks in the game. The Dodgers just couldn’t get the big hit off of him. Felipe Rivera pitched a scoreless 9th and Juan Nicasio pitched a scoreless 10 to pick up the win. He is now 2-5 with a 2.95 ERA on the year. The Pirates are still 8.0 games out first in the Central and 7.5 games out of a wildcard slot. It is unlikely they will get in. Taking the hill for the Pirates in this one will be Ivan Nova and he has gone 11-10 with a 3.81 ERA in 25 starts on the year, including 1-2 with a 5.00 ERA in his last three starts and 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA in 14 starts on the road. Nova has gone 19-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 32 career starts in August and he has gone 3-4 with a 4.20 ERA in seven career starts against the Reds, including 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA in three starts here at Great American Ballpark.
Pittsburgh has been a poor offensive team this year so far as they come in ranked 27th in the league in scoring, putting up just 4.27 rpg, while also ranking 26th in hitting at .246 and 29th in homers with 124. On the mound, they have been decent so far as they come in ranked 13th in the league in ERA at 4.30, while also ranking 14th in WHIP at 1.36.
Reds’ Pitching Has Been Getting Torched
The Cincinnati Reds have been a very solid offensive team at times this year, but their pitching has been a dumpster fire and it seems to be getting worse. The Reds have the worst team ERA in the league at 5.44, but in their last 10 games that ERA is at 7.79, which includes an ERA of 8.78 from their pen over that same stretch. That is just horrible and it is their pitching that has kept them from competing for a division title or a wildcard berth this year. The pitching was an issue for them last year and if they don’t figure out how to fix it in the offseason, then they will be in for another long year in 2018. The Reds lost the first two games of their previous series, which was against the Cubs and they have now lost seven of their last 11 games to fall to 21 games under .500. They have the 3rd worst record in the National League after tying the Padres for worst record in the NL last year. Cincinnati has gone 29-33 here at home for the year. The Reds will be sending out Robert Stephenson in this one and he has gone 1-4 with a 6.13 ERA in 18 games on the year overall, including 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA in four games as a starter. Stephenson has gone 3-5 with a 5.49 ERA in 12 career starts overall and he is 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA in 12 games (six starts) here at Great American Ballpark in his career, while against the Pirates he is 0-0 with a 6.38 ERA in five games (three starts).
Cincinnati has been a bit above average on offense this year so far as they come in ranked 12th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.78 rpg, while also ranking 14th in hitting at .256 and 6th in homers with 184. On the mound, they have been poor so far as they come in ranked 30th in the league in ERA at 5.44, while also ranking 30th in WHIP at 1.48.
- None Available
- 6-14 in their last 20 home games
- 2-6 in their last eight vs. the National League Central
The Cincinnati Reds have been a bad team all year, especially on the mound, but they will be taking on a very weak Pittsburgh offense. Still, I do not see the Reds coming out on top in this one against a Pirates squad that would love to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Pirates have a solid edge on the mound with Ivan Nova getting the start against Robert Stephenson. Nova has been one of Pittsburgh’s best starters this year and while he has struggled on the road. I look for him to have a better showing in this one. Stephenson has gone just 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA in four starts this year overall and he has a 6.38 ERA in five games (three starts) against the Pirates in his career. Look for Pittsburgh’s offense to wake up and grab a big win for Ivan Nova.
Pick: Pittsburgh -101
The Pittsburgh Pirates have had very little offense this year and they will look to get it going in this series. They very well could get that offense going against a Cincinnati staff that has allowed 8.1 rpg in their last 10 games. Robert Stephenson has a 4.43 ERA in his four starts this year and behind him is a pen that owns an 8.78 ERA over their last 10 games. Yikes. The Pittsburgh pitching has not been that great of late as they have 5.74 ERA in their last 10 games and Nova has a 4.52 ERA on the road and a 4.76 ERA in four career starts in this park. He will be facing a Reds’ offense that has averaged a solid 5.03 rpg here at home. I look for the Pirates to win a high scoring game in this one.