The Reds are off to a great start in 2017. They'll look to keep the good times rolling as they head into Pittsburgh for a three-game series. The first game is scheduled for tonight at 7:05 PM ET. Brandon Finnegan gets the ball for Cincinnati in the opener.
Last Season and What's Ahead
The Pirates finished 2016 with a 78-83 record. They've opened this season 3-2, and they're currently on a three-game winning streak. However, those games were against the Braves so do they really count?
FanGraphs projects Pittsburgh to go 78-83 in their remaining games. Baseball Prospectus' projection is similar at 78-79.
Someone is Going to Get Hit With a Pitch
Things always seem to get chippy when these two teams get together.
Well...this is awkward. I guess it's Daniel Hudson?
Does Phil Gosselin count?
Fare Thee Well
You can read a full breakdown of Pittsburgh's offseason here.
The Lineup (2016 stats are in parentheses)
Adam Frazier - Somewhere on the field*
Starling Marte - CF (.311/.362/.456 w/ 9 HR, 71 R, 46 RBI, and 47 SB)
Andrew McCutchen - RF (.256/.336/.430 w/ 24 HR, 81 R, 79 RBI, and 6 SB)
Gregory Polanco - LF (.258/.323/.463 w/ 22 HR, 79 R, 86 RBI, and 17 SB)
Josh Bell - 1B (.273/.368/.406 w/ 3 HR, 18 R, 19 RBI, and 0 SB in 45 games)
Francisco Cervelli - C (.264/.377/.322 w/ 1 HR, 42 R, 33 RBI, and 6 SB)
Josh Harrison - 2B/3B (.283/.311/.388 w/ 4 HR, 57 R, 59 RBI, and 19 SB)
Jordy Mercer - SS (.256/.328/.374 w/ 11 HR, 66 R, 59 RBI, and 1 SB)
*David Freese has been out the past few games after taking a ball off the chest while playing 3B. If he's healthy, he'll slot in over Frazier.
There aren't any dramatic differences between this year's Pirates lineup and last year's version. Josh Bell will see regular starts at first over John Jaso who's been relegated to a bench bat/spot starter role.
Perhaps the biggest change for the Pirates was the decision to move Andrew McCutchen out of center field and into right.
The Pitchers For This Series
Tyler Glasnow (vs. Brandon Finnegan) - Monday at 7:05 PM ET
Glasnow is a highly regarded prospect who made four starts for Pittsburgh a season ago. Between Double and Triple A, Glasnow went 8-3 with a 1.93 ERA in 2016. In seven major league appearances, Glasnow had a 4.24 ERA in 23.1 innings of work.
Glasnow was picked as the second best pitching prospect in baseball in a poll of MLB GMs prior to the 2017 season (behind Alex Reyes).
Jameson Taillon (vs. Rookie Davis) - Tuesday at 7:05 PM ET
Taillon started 18 games for the Pirates in 2017. Over 104 innings, he went 5-4 with a 3.38 ERA. He struck out 7.4 batters per nine and ran an impressive 1.5 walks per nine.
Ivan Nova (vs. Amir Garrett) - Wednesday at 7:05 PM ET
Nova had a rough start to the 2016 season. In 21 appearances for the Yankees, he had a 4.90 ERA. New York eventually decided to trade him to Pittsburgh, and Nova had much better results with the Pirates. He went 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 64.2 innings of work.
Re-signing Nova was the highlight of Pittsburgh's offseason.