Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds – April 5, 2021

The first place Cincinnati Reds (2: 1) starts a 3-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates (1: 2) this evening at 6.40 p.m. The Reds are coming to one of the most exciting opening series in team history. The Reds completely destroyed Cardinal Pitching and scored 27 runs in three games. By comparison, the Reds scored a whopping 25 runs in their first nine games against the Cardinals in 2020. The Reds will try to maintain their smoky offensive against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team is currently forecasting the worst record in all of baseball this season.

If you think the reds are cheap, let me introduce you to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have the lowest wage bill in the National League at $ 53.4 million. That’s $ 61.2 million less than the Reds, even though Pittsburgh ranks 24th on TV market size compared to Cincinnati at 37th. The pirates will certainly try to bring payroll even closer to the trading deadline .

The only reason to even see the Pirates this season has just landed on the IL. Ke’Bryan Hayes, the number 9 in baseball, was put on the IL over the weekend with a wrist injury. Hayes had an OPS of 1,124 in 24 games for Pittsburgh last season. Former Red Todd Frazier was surprisingly not called up to replace the Pirates 3B, although he is currently active at the Pirates’ alternative location. The pirates don’t have a batsman with an OPS greater than 0.750 when Hayes is out. In comparison, the reds have four well over 800 (Winker, Suarez, Moustakas, Castellanos).

It’s never too early to talk about playoff odds, is it? The Reds made a huge leap over the weekend. Your chances of reaching the postseason on Saturday morning were 19.1%, but after two wins they have risen to 34.4%. As a result, the Cardinals odds fell from 31.0% to 18.4%. There are still 159 games left in a very long season that a lot can happen in, but this shows how close this division race is and how important each division game can be to the swing of the division.

Start pitchers

Jose De Leon will be his first MLB start since 2016. He’s an immense talent pitcher who couldn’t get enough hits in his limited MLB opportunities. He was 23rd overall in the MLB prior to 2016, according to Baseball America, but injuries hampered his career. De León had Tommy John Surgery in 2017. Doug Gray wrote a great review about De León on his website. De León was hit pretty hard this spring: 16.2 IP, 18 H, 16 ER, 3 HR, 7 BB, 2 HBP, 16 K.

JT Brubaker made his MLB debut for the Pirates last season and had a pretty solid freshman campaign as a 26-year-old rookie. He was just the prospect rated Pirate # 25, according to Fangraphs who entered in 2020. Brubaker made a start against the Reds, and it was a good one: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K. The start was actually the last game of this famous four-game game of the Pirates during the Rise of the reds in the late season. Unfortunately for Brubaker, he was paired against Luis Castillo, who knocked out the Pirates over 7 innings (3 hits, 10K). Fansided has a nice scouting report on Brubaker.

Start starting grid

Jesse Winker remains outside the Reds lineup, but the structure of the lineup remains the same. It’s a nice luxury to have Tyler Naquin and his .782 career OPS versus RHP as a fill-out-outfielder. Tucker Barnhart has now started 3 of 4 games at catcher. The Reds will most likely not see their first left-handed starting pitcher until Friday night against Caleb Smith of the Diamondbacks (it hasn’t been officially announced yet, but he’s lining up). Tyler Stephenson Pay to get all fishing obligations against LHP.

Messages and Notes

Nick Castellanos has been suspended for two games

In an absurd decision that makes absolutely no sense to anyone outside the St. Louis Cardinals or a fan of the franchise, Nick Castellanos was suspended on Saturday for “aggressive actions.” He is facing a 2-game suspension but has decided to appeal the suspension. That means he is on the line-up until the result of his hearing. No other player was banned, although several others were punished for their roles.

Jesse Winker should be back soon

Jesse Winker, who is absent from the line-up for a few days, is unlikely to be out much longer. He had flu-like symptoms, according to manager David Bell, but Bell also noted that this was unrelated to COVID.

Hunter Greene throws 105 mph at Goodyear

Last week, Cincinnati’s best contestant Hunter Greene hit 105 mph on his fastball when he started out at Goodyear, where he continues his spring training as he prepares for the 2021 minor league baseball season, which kicks off the first week of May. Greene had recently clocked at 104 MPH several times. It continues to show a different speed than any other pitcher on the planet.

As expected, Nick Castellanos is an extra base hit machine

The last Reds scored 4 extra-base goals in the first three games of the season
2021 Nick Castellanos
2012 Zack Cozart
1988 Kal Daniels
1986 Dave Parker
1984 Dan Driessen
1976 Cesar Geronimo
1966 Vada Pinson
1961 Wally Post
1956 Ray Jablonski
1954 Jim Greengrass (6 XBH)

– Joel Luckhaupt from the Pawnee Lerpiss family (@jluckhaupt) April 5, 2021

The cardinals disbanded at the behest of the Reds

“If the Cardinals felt they had serenity and serenity after the clashes between the teams on Saturday, then on Sunday they look like they were unraveling.”

Splendid. https://t.co/SW23UMfKQc

– Steve Mancuso (@spmancuso) April 5, 2021

I represented RN and came to Columbus for 97.1 FM the Fan this afternoon

Nick Kirby @Nicholaspkirby (Staff Writer & Editor for Redleg Nation) 4-5-21 https://t.co/gGMzLT5YY5

– Rothman & Ice (@ 971RandI) April 5, 2021


The Pittsburgh Pirates are linked with the Marlins for the fewest wins in MLB since the start of the 2019 season.

The Reds only have a 14-15 record against them. This includes the Reds 4-game sweep of the pirates at the end of 2020.

Frankly, this is a team the Reds have to take care of business against. In an expected close split, the determining factor could be who defeats the pirates. Let’s hope that the Reds finally found the magic formula on September 14th and 16th, 2020.

Go Reds.

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