Jeff Locke (4-3, 4.74 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (39-30) meet Josh Smith (MLB debut) and the Cincinnati Reds (32-36) in the first of a three-game division series at PNC Park. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jun. 23 and will air on FSN-OH and ROOT-PIT.
Locke is 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.28 WHIP against the Reds in his career. Andrew McCutchen (.287, 36 Rs, 8 HRs, 42 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 2 Sunday. Smith is making his Major League debut for the Reds. Todd Frazier (.292, 50 Rs, 23 HRs, 48 RBIs, 8 SBs) went 1 for 4 Sunday with one run, one home run, and two RBIs.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game an even matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is presently unavailable. The Pirates have an SU record of 13-18 against teams in their division. Pittsburgh has averaged 2.9 runs per game over the last 10 games, lower than its season average of 4.0. The Pirates are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 51 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. As for the pitching staff, the Pirates rank second in the NL in home ERA with a 2.63 team average. The Pirates don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking second in the league with a 1.19 WHIP.
Against fellow NL Central members, the Reds are 13-15 SU. The Reds have racked up 67 steals on the year, making them the most threatening base-running team in the league.
The Reds have gotten the best of the Pirates in head-to-head matchups this season, going 5-1. The Pirates will take on a right-hander (Cueto) in this game and have a 31-25 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The left-handed Locke will take the mound against the Reds, who have a 9-9 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - CIN
The Pirates are 13-18 against their divisional rivals, while the Reds are 13-15 against their division.
The Reds are 3-5 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Pirates are 2-6 in such matchups.
The Reds are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Pirates have an 18-21 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Reds are 24-8. 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 273 runs and Cincinnati is 21st with 275.
Ranking 23rd, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 168 this season. Cincinnati ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 214.
When the Pirates hit at least one home run, they are 23-15, well-matched with the Reds who are 28-18 when hitting one or more homers.