Pittsburgh Pirates (61-67; 53-69-6 O/U) vs. Cincinnati Reds (54-74; 70-53-5 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 6:40pm EST
Line: Cincinnati -135/Pittsburgh +115
The Cincinnati Reds will host the Pittsburgh Pirates in an NL Central battle Saturday night from the Great American Ball Park. The Pirates will hand the ball to 26-year old right-hander Gerrit Cole, and the Reds will reply with 24-year old right-hander Luis Castillo. The Reds own an 8-2 lead in the season series.
Cole Roughed Up by Dodgers
Gerrit Cole is back on the mound for the 27th time of the season, looking to rebound from a rough outing. Cole conceded five runs in 6.1 innings to the Dodgers in his previous start and finished with the no decision. The Pirates’ ace has looked shaky in two straight starts, however overall he is having a strong season, posting a 4.16 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP accompanied with a 10-8 record in 160 innings logged. He held the Reds to three runs (two earned) in six innings in the lone meeting this season, and now owns an 0-6 record with a poor 5.14 ERA in nine career starts. Zack Cozart is 1 for 12 against Cole, while Joey Votto is 4 for 17 with two RBI’s. Josh Harrison has come alive at the plate, belting four home runs along with nine RBI’s over his last nine games. The 30-year old second baseman is having a decent season, sporting a .280 average with 16 home runs and 47 RBI’s. Harrison has been productive against the Reds this season, going 8 for 23 with three homers and five RBI’s.
The Pirates are only averaging 4.25 runs per game, ranking them 27th overall, and are hitting .246 as a team. The Pittsburgh pitching has been solid, now sporting a 4.30 team ERA, placing them 13th in the Majors.
Castillo Only Lasts Four Innings in Loss to Braves
Luis Castillo will get the nod for the 13th time of the season, targeting his first win of the month. Castillo allowed two runs in just four innings to the Braves in his previous start and finished with the no decision in a game the Reds lost. The rookie right-hander has been one of the few bright spots on the Reds pitching staff this season, sporting a solid 3.45 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP accompanied with a 2-6 record in 70.1 innings logged. Castillo, who will be facing the Pirates for the first time, has tallied 74 strikeouts on the season. Eugenio Suarez is on his best stretch of the season, collecting 11 RBI’s along with four home runs over his last eight games. The 26-year old third baseman is having an outstanding season, sporting a .270 average with 24 home runs and 70 RBI’s. Suarez has feasted on the Pirates pitching this season, notching a hit in 12 of 31 at bats with three homers and 11 runs driven in.
The Reds are averaging a solid 4.78 runs per game, ranking them 12th in the Majors, and are hitting .256 as a team. The Cincinnati pitching continues to struggle, carrying a Major League worst 5.30 team ERA.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- 0-6 in Cole’s last 6 road starts against the Reds.
- 0-9 in Cole’s last 9 starts against the Reds.
- 0-4 in their last 4 road games.
- 1-5 in their last 6 Saturday games.
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- 9-2 in their last 11 games against the Pirates.
- 4-1 in their last 5 home games against the Pirates.
- 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a losing record.
I am going with the Reds in this one. Cole has struggled against the Reds as he owns an 0-6 record with a weak 5.14 career ERA, and he has allowed nine runs along with four home runs over his last two starts. Furthermore, Castillo is having a tremendous rookie season, and he has recorded a Quality Start in four out of his last five starts, so I am confident he can contain the low scoring Pirates.
Pick: Cincinnati Reds -135
Cole has slipped a bit over his last few starts and Castillo has not been as sharp pitching on his home field. Cole has conceded six homers over his last four starts, and the over is 5-1 in the Reds last six home games against a right-handed starter. Castillo owns a 4.50 ERA at home this season, so the Pirates should plate some runs, and the over is also 5-1 in the Pirates last six games against a right-handed starter.