The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates meet for the second time this week at PNC Park. The Pirates made it look easy with a 7-3 win last night. The problem for the Pirates is that they haven’t made it look that easy enough in 2018. With the victory, the Pirates moved to 68-71. That isn’t good enough for the postseason, and with an 8.5-game deficit for the final wildcard, it doesn’t appear like they have enough time to maneuver themselves in the right direction to play catch-up. They were coming off two losses in a three-game series against the Braves, before welcoming the Reds to Pittsburgh. The Pirates will go for their third win in a row over the Reds on Wednesday.
There was a familiar face missing from the Pirates lineup this season without Andrew McCutchen. It took them a while to find out how to go about the diamond without McCutchen, but they finally came around to put some good outings together. The Pirates acquired Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays in a move to bolster their starting rotation. If they were hoping some instant boost to go after the postseason, I’m not so sure what they were expecting. Archer is signed through 2021, though, so maybe he helps out in the coming years. However, he hasn’t shown improvements since a 3.23 ERA in 2015. The Pirates are expected to go with Jameson Taillon as their starter tonight, while the Reds counter with vet Homer Bailey. Head below for our free Reds vs. Pirates pick.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Pick
Homer Bailey (1-13, 6.13 ERA) vs. Jameson Taillon (11-9, 3.45 ERA)
The fact that Homer Bailey still has a job in a starting rotation is a testament to how bad some rotations are in the majors. The Reds have hoped to see something out of Bailey after battling injuries and bad three years in a row, but he hasn’t been an above average pitcher since 2014. He posted an ERA of 3.71, the last year he’s been below the 5.00 ERA mark. Bailey made 18 starts last season and finished with an ERA of 6.43. The year prior he managed just 6 starts for a 6.65 ERA. In that sense he’s been average with a 6.13 ERA in 2018. He also has a 1.65 WHIP and .357 OBA. We must go back to July 31st to find the last time he allowed less than 3 runs in a game. The Pirates are hitting .291 with a .351 OBP against Bailey in 117 at-bats.
Jameson Taillon enters Wednesday on a nice little run. He has an ERA of 1.89 and 1.00 WHIP in his last three starts. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since May 22nd for quite the impressive streak for Taillon. In his last seven starts, Taillon has been good for a 2.64 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He’s on pace for the best year of his career when he’s had at least 25 starts. It’s been only three years, though, opening with a 3.38 ERA in 18 starts as a rookie and 4.44 ERA in 25 starts a year ago. The future certainly looks bright for Taillon in Pittsburgh. While I like him, I’ve been auto-fading Homer Bailey and it’s worked out pretty well. Not just this season, I’ve been fading Bailey as far back as 2016 as well. The Reds haven’t won a game that Bailey has started since May 12th. Back to old faithful and a fade of Homer Bailey against the Pirates on Wednesday at PNC Park.