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Series Preview: Reds at Pirates

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When the Pirates lose to bad teams in big spots, as they’ve done recently, it reminds me of their poor record against the Reds in 2015 (minus the winning 98 games part). Looking it up, 8-11 versus Cincinnati in ‘15 doesn’t look right, because it felt a lot worse.

The Pirates (51-54), winners of a single game against each the Giants and the Padres, coming off a 3-6 road trip, face another version of the Reds that’s been trouble for them.

Cincinnati is 8-18 in July. It has lost 14 of its last 17. The Reds lost three of four to the Marlins over the weekend, snapping a six-game losing streak on Sunday.

Season Series: 6-1 Reds

At Pittsburgh

April 10: Reds 7, Pirates 1

April 11: Reds 6, Pirates 2

April 12: Reds 9, Pirates 2

At Cincinnati

May 1: Reds 4, Pirates 3, 10 innings

May 2: Pirates 12, Reds 3

May 3: Reds 7, Pirates 2

May 4: Reds 4, Pirates 2


Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. - Homer Bailey (2-5, 8.37 ERA) vs. Jameson Taillon (6-4, 4.03), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. - Robert Stephenson (0-4, 7.86) vs. Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.53), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Thursday, 7:05 p.m. - Sal Romano (2-2, 4.57) vs. Chad Kuhl (3-7, 4.84), TV: AT&T SportsNet


42-63 (44-61 Pythag, 4.55 RS/G, 5.49 RA/G)


Par for the course with Cincinnati, the hitting is their strong point. Joey Votto (.302/.428/.580, 27 HR) remains incredibly overlooked in certain circles, it seems. Zack Cozart, the team’s second-best position player, is on the disabled list and remained a Red through the trade deadline. Devin Mesoraco is dealing with a knee injury. Plucked off waivers from Milwaukee coming out of spring training, Scooter Gennett has been more than a one-game wonder, with 18 home runs and a .302/.351/.567 line in 288 plate appearances. Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler have 23 homers each, and Eugenio Suarez has 16. Scott Van Slyke is on the way from the Dodgers, getting sent over in the Tony Cingrani deal.


Conversely, the Reds’ pitching is the worst in the league, with a whole 0.4 fWAR accumulated. The starters are also 30th, with -0.5 fWAR as a group; the bullpen is all the way up at 26th, with a whopping 0.9 fWAR to its credit. The Pirates will miss the Reds’ better starters, Scott Feldman (on the DL with right knee inflammation) and Luis Castillo. In seven starts, Homer Bailey’s ERA (8.37) is higher than his K/9 (5.40), though he’s had a rough go of it with injuries. Robert Stephenson (8.91 K/9, 6.55 BB/9) was not good out of the bullpen. Sal Romano has also walked too many batters. The Reds are without Tony Cingrani, traded on Monday. Closer Raisel Iglesias (10.84 K/9, 3.20 BB/9) generated a good bit of trade interest, but, I imagine, a high price tag, too.


Now would be a good time for the Pirates to shake their issues with the Reds. They started hitting the ball on Sunday; let’s hope that carries over against a pretty sorry pitching staff.


How does this series go?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Pirates sweep!
    (151 votes)
  • 23%
    2-1 Pirates
    (76 votes)
  • 20%
    2-1 Reds
    (69 votes)
  • 10%
    Reds sweep
    (34 votes)
330 votes total Vote Now