The Pittsburgh Pirates (97-64) finish up the regular season against the Cincinnati Reds (64-97) as J.A. Happ (10-8, 3.74 ERA) and Josh Smith (0-3, 7.22 ERA) will take the hill at PNC Park. The Reds won the last game 3-1 and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 4 and can be seen on FSOH and RTPT.
Happ pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering zero runs and striking out four in a 3-0 defeat to the Cardinals. Smith went 5.0 innings, surrendering four runs, striking out seven and walking five in a 4-1 defeat to the Cubs in his last outing. Todd Frazier (.253, 82 Rs, 35 HRs, 89 RBIs, 13 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI.
The odds for Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are even, while the Over/Under (O/U) is currently not available. Within its division, Pittsburgh has a record of 33-42 SU. The Pirates have no trouble scoring as they rank fourth in the NL in offense with 4.3 runs per game. As for the pitchers, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Pirates, who have a team ERA of only 3.26.
The Reds are 33-42 against teams in their division. Offensively, the Reds have really sputtered in the last 10 games. They have decreased their season average of 4.0 runs per game by averaging 2.7 during that stretch. The Reds are an excellent base-stealing team with an MLB-best 134 stolen bases. The Reds allow 4.7 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 6.7 runs per game during that span.
The Reds lead the season series, 11-7. The Pirates have a 79-48 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Smith takes the mound. Happ (LHP) will be on the hill against the Reds, who have inferior records against left-handed starting pitchers on the road and overall of 5-15 and 14-25, respectively.
Predictions: SU Winner - Pit
The Pirates and the Reds both sit at records of 33-42 this season against teams in the NL Central Division.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Pirates are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Reds have a 21-1 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Reds are 11-69. The Pirates have a 20-49 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 23rd in home runs, Pittsburgh has hit 139 this season. Cincinnati ranks 13th with 167 home runs.
Ranking eighth, Cincinnati is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.57 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at fourth with 9.06.
Ranking 21st, Cincinnati is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.710). Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half at 19th with an OPS of .720.
The Reds are 30-74 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Pirates are 42-40 when they allow at least one homer.