Gerrit Cole (11-2, 1.78 ERA) starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates (40-30) as they square off against Mike Leake (4-4, 4.01 ERA) and the Cincinnati Reds (32-37) in the second of a three-game series at PNC Park. The Pirates won the last game 7-6 and Pittsburgh leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jun. 24 and can be seen on FSN-OH and ROOT-PIT.
Cole pitched 7.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering two runs, striking out four and walking three in a 3-2 win over the White Sox. Andrew McCutchen (.292, 37 Rs, 9 HRs, 44 RBIs, 3 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run, one home run, and two RBIs. Against the Pirates, Leake is 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 89 strikeouts. Joey Votto (.300, 37 Rs, 14 HRs, 36 RBIs, 5 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
Pittsburgh is a -167 favorite against Cincinnati and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at six runs. The Pirates have recorded an overall money line of +404 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 33-16. Pittsburgh is an impressive 7-1 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Pirates have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 2.9 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.0 runs per game. Pittsburgh is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 52 bases. Turning to the pitchers, opposing offenses that come to PNC Park have been stifled by the Pirates, who have a team ERA of only 2.63 at home. The Pirates are the fourth-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.20 so far this season.
In the other locker room, Cincinnati is coming in with an overall money line of -526 and a disappointing record of 12-25 as the underdog. They are 8-12 as the underdog against NL Central foes, and 13-15 SU. The Reds are an excellent base-stealing team with an MLB-best 69 stolen bases.
The Reds have controlled the season series, 5-2. The Pirates have a 31-25 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Leake takes the mound. Cole (RHP) will be on the hill against the Reds, who have a 23-27 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
The Pirates hold a 14-18 record this season against teams in the NL Central Division. The Reds' record in these matchups is 13-16.
For the 15th time this season, the Pirates registered at least two errors in a game.
The Reds are 3-5 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Pirates are 2-6 in such matchups.
The Reds managed to give up eight walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Pirates who are heading in with a 1-1 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Reds are 24-9. The Pirates have a 29-5 record when outhitting opponents.
Both falling near the bottom of the league based on total runs this season, Pittsburgh ranks 22nd with 280 runs and Cincinnati is 21st with 281.
Ranking 23rd, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 176 this season. Cincinnati ranks in the top half at 11th with 217.
When the Pirates hit at least one home run, they are 24-15. When the Reds hit at least one homer, they have a 28-19 record.