Cincinnati Reds (25-43) at Pittsburgh Pirates (33-35)
|Date & Time||Friday June 15, 2018, 7:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -143 / Cincinnati Reds +133 --- Over/Under: 9
The Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates square off in game one of a three game NL Central division set from PNC Park on Friday.
The Cincinnati Reds will be looking to build some steam after making it three straight wins by sweeping their mini two game set with Kansas City following a 7-0 win on Wednesday. Adam Duvall led the Reds with four RBIs coming by way of a grand slam, while Jose Peraza went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI and Jesse Winker added an RBI of his own in the win. Scooter Gennett went 2 for 4 at the dish and Scott Schebler added a double, while Eugenio Suarez, Curt Casali and Billy Hamilton each contributed base hits to round out the offense for Cincinnati in the win. Tyler Mahle got the win to improve to 5-6 this season after tossing 6.1 three hit shutout innings. Matt Harvey will start game one and is 1-4 with a 5.97 ERA and 44 strikeouts this season. In his career, Harvey is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA and 28 strikeouts against Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking to get the ball rolling after avoiding the sweep at the hands of Arizona, taking the series finale by a final score of 5-4 on Wednesday. Jordy Mercer led the Bucs with three RBIs, going 2 for 4 with a home run and a double, while Josh Bell and Josh Harrison each added an RBI, with Bell contributing a double as well. Starling Marte added a two-bagger of his own, while Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco each added a base hit as Pittsburgh mustered up just six hits as a team in the win. Jameson Taillon got the win to improve to 4-5 this season after giving up two runs on six hits while striking out four over seven innings of work. Felipe Vazquez notched his 12th save of the year. Chad Kuhl will start game one and is 4-4 with a 3.95 ERA and 69 strikeouts this season. In his career, Kuhl is 1-1 with a 2.78 ERA and 25 strikeouts against Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is 6-21 in their last 27 division matchups and 3-8 in their last 11 games following a win while the over is 8-3-1 in their last 12 games overall. Pittsburgh is 4-1 in Kuhl’s last 5 home starts and 3-8 in their last 11 games overall while the under is 36-17-3 in their last 56 division matchups. Cincinnati is 1-5 in the last 6 meetings between these two teams in Pittsburgh.
Backing Cincinnati is tempting given how the Reds have suddenly found a decent run of form to start the week. However, Harvey has seemed to regress from his first couple of starts with Cincinnati, giving up at least four runs in each of his last three starts. Kuhl hasn’t been spectacular, but he’s given up three runs or less in six of his last seven starts, and I think he can lift Pittsburgh to a win on Friday.