Pittsburgh Pirates Set to Open Series vs Reds


This weekend the Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking for their second consecutive series victory over the Cincinnati Reds

Last weekend the Pittsburgh Pirates went to Great American Ballpark and won two of three games against the last place Cincinnati Reds. This gave the Bucs their first series victory of the season against the Reds. With the series victory, the Bucs improved to just 4-9 against the Reds this season.

The three-game series between the Pirates and Reds will start at 7:05 tonight at PNC Park. Tonight’s game will see a rematch of last Saturday’s pitching duel between Gerrit Cole and Luis Castillo. This was a game the Pirates won 1-0, via a solo home run from Cole.

In tonight’s contest the Pittsburgh Pirates will go with the following lineup:

  1. Josh Harrison – 2B
  2. Starling Marte – LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen – CF
  4. Josh Bell – 1B
  5. David Freese – 3B
  6. John Jaso – RF
  7. Jordy Mercer – SS
  8. Chris Stewart – C
  9. Gerrit Cole – SP

This lineup sees a change in that Josh Harrison, not Starling Marte, is batting lead off. Ever since Marte returned from his suspension he had been batting lead off against right-handed pitchers. Hopefully this move can get Marte, who owns just a .294 wOBA and a wRC+ of 78 since returning from suspension, going again at the plate.

A story line to watch entering the season’s final month is Josh Bell. The Pirates’ rookie first baseman has hit 23 home runs this season. That is three shy of tying Jason Bay‘s franchise rookie record for home runs. Bell should surpass Bay’s record easily before the end of the month.

The Pirates enter the season’s final month with nothing to play for at 63-71, the Cincinnati Reds who own a 57-77 record are in the same boat. This series will be about nothing more than two divisional rivals trying to one up the other this weekend.

Next: The Bucs Should Claim Kevin Siegrist

It would be nice to see the Pittsburgh Pirates post a winning record in September and finish the season on a high note. This could catapult the Pirates into a better 2018 season. That all starts with this weekend’s three-game series against the Reds.