Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole will be looking to earn his first career win in Cincinnati tonight, where he is 0-3 in five starts with a 4.55 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 27.1 innings. Cole’s underlying peripherals look solid through his first five starts in 2017.
Specifically, the 26-year-old toes the rubber with a 3.59 xFIP and 3.64 SIERA, together with an 8.10 K/9 rate and a 1.80 BB/9 rate. The young hurler has an uncharacteristic 1.50 HR/9 rate in his first 30.0 innings of work, which should regress closer to his career 0.61 HR/9 mark.
Cole takes the mound in good form with a 1.89 ERA and 0.89 WHIP over his last three starts and should continue that success against a scuffling Cincinnati lineup that is batting .233 at home and .229 at night.
In contrast, Cincinnati starter Amir Garrett enters tonight’s game in poor form, posting a 6.88 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in his last three outings. Garret has been susceptible to the long ball through his first four outings as evidenced by his 1.57 HR/9 rate this season.
The 24-year-old is also coming off his worst outing of the 2017 campaign, allowing nine runs on 8 hits and 4 walks across just 3.1 innings against the Brewers last Monday. Previous scouting reports had Garrett’s velocity peaking at 96 mph, but he’s averaging 91.4 mph this season.
The Reds have lost 11 of their last fifteen games overall and are a woeful 13-33 at home after losing five of its past six games and 35-71 as home underdogs over the past three seasons. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is 8-2 in its last ten road games versus left-handed starters, including 5-1 in its last six against lefties overall.
Finally, Cincinnati is 2-8 in its last ten games, 0-4 in its last four games following a win and 0-5 in its last five home games versus .499 or worse opposition. With Pittsburgh standing at 4-1 in its last five trips to Cincinnati, take the Pirates as Oskeim Sports’ Free National League Pick for Monday, May 1.
Oskeim Sports’ National League Sports Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates (-109)