Jameson Taillon (2-2, 3.52 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (53-53) meet Anthony DeSclafani (6-0, 2.93 ERA) and the Cincinnati Reds (44-63) in the first of a three-game division series at PNC Park. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 5 and will air on FSOH and RTPT.
In his most recent outing, Taillon pitched 6.0 innings, allowing two runs and striking out six in a 5-3 loss to the Brewers. Gregory Polanco (.283, 58 Rs, 15 HRs, 56 RBIs, 11 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run and one stolen base. The Reds were unsuccessful against the Padres 2-1 the last time DeSclafani pitched. He went 6.0 innings, giving up one run, striking out six and walking two. Jay Bruce (.259, 61 Rs, 26 HRs, 83 RBIs, 4 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and three RBIs.
Pittsburgh, a -150 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Cincinnati. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at eight runs. The Pirates are 29-27 as the favorite and have an overall money line of -13. They have a SU record of 19-23 against teams in their division and an 11-12 record when they were the favorite in those games. The Pirates come into the game with the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the NL, averaging 4.6 runs per game. The Pirates are a superb hitting team with 8.9 hits per game, one of the highest marks in the NL. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking fourth in all of baseball with 80 steals.
Moving on to the away team, the Reds come into this game with a weak win percentage of .329 when playing as the underdog (28-57) and an overall money line of -823. Against fellow NL Central members, they are 16-24 SU and have played poorly as the underdog with a 13-22 record. The Reds have racked up 87 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Cincinnati's pitching staff has allowed an average of 3.8 runs per game during the last 10 games, lower than their season average of 5.5.
The Pirates will take on a right-hander (DeSclafani) in this game and have a 38-44 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The right-handed Taillon will take the mound against the Reds, who have a 36-47 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
The Pirates are 19-23 against their divisional rivals, while the Reds are 16-24 against their division.
For the 10th time this season, the Pirates registered at least two errors in a game.
The Pirates are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded six strikeouts. The Reds have a record of 14-12 when opponents' pitchers have six strikeouts or less.
When they are outhit, the Reds are 8-49. The Pirates have a 14-41 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 26th in home runs, Pittsburgh has hit 99 this season. Cincinnati ranks 18th with 120 home runs.
Ranking 12th, Cincinnati is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.20 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five with 8.90.
Ranking 25th, Cincinnati is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.710). Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half at 16th with an OPS of .735.
The Reds are 30-53 when they allow at least one home run. The Pirates perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 28-42 record.