The Pirates continue their nine-game road trip tonight in the Queen City against the Reds with first pitch set for 7:10PM.
This is the third series already this season for these two teams with the Pirates losing 2-of-3 back in early April and then winning 2-of-3 last week in Pittsburgh. After this three-game set at Great American Ballpark, the Bucs won’t see the Reds again until August.
Dan Straily will make his third appearance against the Pirates this season when he takes the mound for Cincinnati tonight. He’s been effective against the Bucs in 2016, only allowing two runs in 9.0 innings of work. The right-hander from California was in the bullpen to start the season, but quickly found the rotation due to a couple of injuries. Straily sports one of the better ERAs in the Reds rotation, but his FIP of 5.18 shows that he probably had some luck to date. He’s given up five home runs in 30.1 innings and has an ugly 4.2 BB/9. Out of the Pirates players against Straily, Starling Marte has had the most success, going 4-for-9 off him.
The Pirates will counter with Jon Niese and boy does he ever need a promising outing. Niese has not been the effective pitcher the Mets have seen the best four seasons. His 3.90 FIP the best three seasons has started off with a 5.74 tune with a 5.94 ERA despite owning a 3-1 record, just more proof the wins stat means absolutely nothing. This will be Niese’s first start this season against the Reds and being at GAB, keeping the ball on the ground will be a must for Niese. Brandon Phillips has nine hits off Niese, including two home runs in his career.