The Pirates scored often enough on Monday night but each time was a solo home run. The Reds only scored once in the first nine innings but it was a three-run job by Adam Duvall following an error. And, as it goes, Cincinnati went on to win the game in the 10th inning.
I’m not sure how good – or bad – the Pirates are yet. They struggled to play close to .500 baseball in April (they finished 11-13) despite terrific pithing at the front of the rotation. Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova have allowed 27 earned runs in 102.1 April innings but the Pirates have only won seven of the 16 games they’ve started.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh won three of Tyler Glasnow‘s four starts. Glasnow’s ERA is two-hundreths of a run short of 8.00, his WHIP is 2.45, and opponents are hitting .333 against him. None of those three Pirates’ wins are reflected in his own record though. The Pirates rallied to all three victories to win in spite of him.
So things could get a lot better if the Pirates start winning even 60 percent of the Cole/Taillon/Nova starts. It will get worse if they don’t because they will not continue to win like this with Glasnow.
In fact, no matter how good Pittsburgh is, no matter how many games they’ve won with Glasnow thus far, it looks like it’s going to be awfully difficult to win with him going forward. Cincinnati doesn’t have the most potent of offenses but Joey Votto hit eight home runs in April without ever really getting going, Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler are, too, on a 40-homer pace and Billy Hamilton stole 10 bases with a .265 OBP (that makes for an impressive SB%).
Scott Feldman has been consistently tough on hitters this season, with four straight starts of less than or equal hits allowed than innings pitched. The walks have hurt in twice in five starts though. Ten of his 13 came in two outings, both against the Milwaukee Brewers.
We’ll have a problem if he’s wild on Tuesday evening; the Pirates don’t have many boppers but they have some nifty players who can grind out at-bats and use their speed once they are on base. Feldman’s best course of action is to pitch to contact and make the Pirates beat him. As long as Feldman does this, this isn’t the sort of game he should lose. I like the Reds as a small home favorite.
Free Pick: Cincinnati (-113)