Pittsburgh Pirates (61-68; 54-69-6 O/U) vs. Cincinnati Reds (55-74;71-53-5 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 1:10pm EST
Line: Pittsburgh -118/Cincinnati -105
The Cincinnati Reds will host the Pittsburgh Pirates as the NL Central rivals close a three game series Sunday afternoon from the Great American Ball Park. The Pirates will hand the ball to 25-year old right-hander Jameson Taillon, and the Reds will counter with 22-year old right-hander Tyler Mahle. The Reds lead the season series 9-2.
Mahle Makes Major League Debut
Jameson Taillon will get the nod for the 20th time of the year, looking to bounce back from a rough outing. Tallion conceded five runs in five innings to the Dodgers last time out and escaped with the no decision. The 6-foot-5 right-hander is having a weak second half, and now owns a 4.85 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP to go with a 7-5 record in 102 innings of work. He has struggled big time against the Reds this season, serving up 16 runs in 14.2 innings, and now sits at 1-2 with an abysmal 7.01 ERA in five career starts against Cincinnati. Zack Cozart is 2 for 6 against Taillon, while Joey Votto is 3 for 13, and Scooter Gennett is 6 for 16. Josh Bell continues to lead the way offensively, recording another 13 RBI’s over his last ten games. The 25-year old first baseman is having a tremendous first full season in the Majors, hitting .267 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI’s. Bell is 12 for 42 with six RBI’s against the Reds this season.
The Pirates are currently averaging 4.25 runs per game, ranking them 27th overall, and are hitting .246 as a team. The Pittsburgh pitching is carrying a 4.30 team ERA, positioning them 13th in the Majors.
Bailey Targets Second Win Over Pirates this Season
Tyler Mahle will make his Major League debut in this contest in place of Homer Bailey. Mahle put up outstanding numbers in the Minors this season, posting a stifling 2.06 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP in 144.1 innings of work. The 6-foot-3 right-hander is ranked as the Reds number four prospect and is their second rated pitching prospect. Mahle can reach 96 mph on his fastball. Scooter Gennett is the hottest hitter on the Reds right now, driving in 10 runs along with three homers over his last 10 games. The career .281 hitter is having a career-year, sporting a .286 average with 22 home runs and 76 RBI’s. Gennett has done strong damage against the Pirates, going 8 for 29 with six RBI’s. Cincinnati owns a 5-5 record over their last ten games.
The Reds are averaging a solid 4.77 runs per game, ranking them 13th in the Majors, and are hitting .256 as a team. The Cincinnati pitching continues to flounder, posting a Major League worst 5.31 team ERA.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- 8-2 in Taillon’s last 10 starts in game three of a series.
- 13-4 in Taillon’s last 17 starts on four days of rest.
- 8-3 in Taillon’s last 11 road starts.
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- 5-16 in their last 21 games against a starter with a WHIP above 1.30
- 23-49 in their last 72 Sunday games.
I am going with the Pirates in this contest. The Reds are going with a pitcher making his Major League debut, so I would not feel confident siding with them.The Pirates are swinging the bats well, averaging nearly five runs per game over their last ten games, so I expect them to put some crooked numbers on the board against the rookie right-hander. I also don’t expect Mahle to go deep into the game, so the Pirates will have a chance against the Reds weak bullpen.