Pittsburgh Pirates (48-49) at Cincinnati Reds (43-53)
|Date & Time||Friday July 20, 2018, 7:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Cincinnati Reds -110 / Pittsburgh Pirates +100 --- Over/Under: 9
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds meet in game one of a three game NL Central division set from Great American Ballpark in MLB action on Friday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have some work to do to try to make up ground in the division race but finished the first half the right way, winning six straight and eight of nine including a 7-6 win to complete a rare five game sweep of Milwaukee. Corey Dickerson led the Pirates with two RBIs, going 2 for 5 with a home run and a double. Josh Bell added two RBIs of his own with a double as well, while Starling Marte and David Freese each added an RBI with Freese adding a pinch-hit triple to do his damage. Colin Moran went 2 for 5 while Gregory Polanco added a base knock as well to round out Pittsburgh’s offense in the win. Joe Musgrove threw 7.2 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking four, not factoring in the decision. Tanner Anderson picked up the win to improve to 1-0 this season. Jameson Taillon will start game one and is 6-7 with a 3.91 ERA and 103 strikeouts this season. In his career, Taillon is 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA and 44 strikeouts against Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Reds finished the first half on a low note, failing to complete the sweep of St. Louis with a 6-4 loss in the series finale last time out. Adam Duvall led the Reds with two RBIs, going 1 for 3 at the plate, while Jose Peraza and Scooter Gennett each added an RBI with Peraza going 3 for 4 at the dish. Joey Votto, Jesse Winker and starting hurler Anthony DeSclafani each had a base hit to cap off Cincinnati’s offense in the loss. DeSclafani took the loss, falling to 4-2 this season after allowing all six runs on five hits while striking out three over just 3.1 innings of work. Tyler Mahle will start game one and is 7-7 with a 4.02 ERA and 98 strikeouts this season. In his career, Mahle is 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA and 10 strikeouts against Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh is 6-0 in their last 6 games overall and 4-0 in Taillon’s last 4 road starts while the under is 12-4 in their last 16 division matchups. Cincinnati is 7-2 in Mahle’s last 9 starts and 18-8 in their last 26 games overall while the over is 8-1-1 in their last 10 home games. Pittsburgh is 1-5 in the last 6 meetings between these two teams in Cincinnati.
This game could genuinely go either way with both teams coming into this game rested after the all-star break. You have Cincinnati who had been playing better overall over the last month with Mahle on the mound who had been rolling before getting torched by Cleveland and hasn’t had any career success against Pittsburgh. On the other hand, Pittsburgh finished the first half very strong and have Taillon on the bump who’s pitched well on the road but got lit up in his last start against Cincinnati. All in all, I like Taillon to get back to his form from his first start against the Reds which was a complete game one hit shutout, so I’ll take a chance with the Pirates to stay hot with the even money here.