Gerrit Cole (4-0, 1.76 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (12-14) take on Mike Leake (1-1, 3.03 ERA) and the Cincinnati Reds (13-13) in a game that has the potential to be low scoring. This is the second of a three-game series at PNC Park. The Reds won the last game 7-1 and Cincinnati leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May. 6 and can be seen on FSN-OH and ROOT-PIT.
Cole is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his appearances against the Reds, and goes up against a below-average Cincinnati offense which is batting just .230 this season. Starling Marte (.264, 14 Rs, 7 HRs, 18 RBIs, 4 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI. Leake is 6-3 with a 3.28 ERA when pitching against the Pirates. He takes on a below-average Pittsburgh offense which is hitting just .227 this season. Joey Votto (.330, 15 Rs, 7 HRs, 17 RBIs, 4 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Reds, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
Pittsburgh is a -158 favorite against Cincinnati and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. Though the Pirates have had a tough season in terms of their overall money line (-222), they have done fairly well as a favorite with a record of 9-6. Pittsburgh is an impressive 4-1 as the favorite over its last 10 games. Pittsburgh's pitchers fall apart when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 3.6 against fellow NL Central members, compared to its 3.1 season average.
In the other locker room, Cincinnati is coming in with an overall money line of -134 and a disappointing record of 5-8 as the underdog. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They managed a 0-2 record when playing as the underdog. The Reds can change the game with one swing of the bat, ranking third in the league with 36 home runs. The Reds are an excellent base stealing team with 30 stolen bases, ranking second in the MLB. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Reds are the best in the NL with an average of 7.7 hits allowed per game. The Reds have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.1 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Reds have the edge in the season series, 4-0. The Pirates have a 12-11 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 10-10 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - CIN, O/U - Over
The Reds are an even 11-11 against the division, while the Pirates sit at 8-12.
The Reds are 1-3 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Pirates are 0-4 in such matchups.
The Reds managed to give up seven walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Pirates who are heading in with a 0-2 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Reds are 8-4. The Pirates have a 9-2 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 25th, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 94 this season. Cincinnati ranks in the bottom half at 16th with 107.
Ranking 26th, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 58 this season. Cincinnati ranks in the top half at 13th with 84.
When the Pirates hit at least one home run, they are 8-7. When the Reds hit at least one homer, they have an 11-7 record.