In the first of a three-game series between the Cincinnati Reds (3-0) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (3-0) at the Great American Ball Park, Alfredo Simon (13-12, 5.05 ERA) and Francisco Liriano (1-0, 0.00 ERA) start. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 8 and will air on FSOH and RTPT.

Simon will take the hill after recording 187.0 innings last year, wrapping up the season with a 13-12 record, 5.05 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 117 strikeouts. Jay Bruce (.500 ) kept up his hot start yesterday, going 3 for 4 with two runs, two home runs, and five RBIs. The Pirates were victorious the last time Liriano pitched. He pitched well, going 6.0 innings, allowing zero runs, striking out 10 and walking five in a 4-1 victory over the Cardinals. Andrew McCutchen (.455 ) has been successful at the plate to the start the season, going 2 for 4 Wednesday with one run.

The odds are Pittsburgh -160 for this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is 7.5. The Reds are the fifth-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.000 so far this season.

Pittsburgh is one of the top hitting teams in the league with zero extra base hits. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Pirates are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 0.931 for the season.

Predictions: SU Winner - CIN

Notes

Cincinnati has won all of its games (1-0) when leading after seven innings.

Neither the Reds (2-0) nor the Pirates (3-0) have lost a game when they outhit opponents.

Ranking 11th in runs, Pittsburgh has earned 15 this season. Cincinnati ranks sixth with 19 runs.

Ranking 17th, Cincinnati is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching eight this season. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at second with 14.

When the Pirates allow at least one home run, they are 2-0, well-matched with the Reds who are 3-0 when allowing at least one homer.