Reds vs Pirates: Pitching preview, prediction and more

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds bats against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds bats against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 31: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with third base coach J.R. House after hitting a home run. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 31: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with third base coach J.R. House after hitting a home run. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

How are we feeling, Reds Country? Obviously, this question would have received a drastically different answer following the first inning debacle on Opening Day; however, it turned out to be as impressive an opening series weekend along the banks of the Ohio in an incredibly long time.

Following their first inning 6-0 deficit on Opening Day, the Cincinnati Reds (2-1) outscored the St. Louis Cardinals 27-12. The Reds 27 runs scored are their must to open a season since 1976 when the defending World Champions dented the plate 33 times in a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros. Additionally, this was the first opening season series victory in manager David Bell’s tenure as the Reds skipper.

Reds capture their first opening series victory since 2017.

Over the past three seasons, the Reds have stumbled out of the gate, but a series victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2) this week would be their best start since the 2017 club began their campaign 7-2 before quickly fading to irrelevance.

After defeating the Chicago Cubs on Opening Day at Wrigley Field, Pittsburgh dropped the final two games to the defending National League Central champions. Outside of a brief three-year stretch during the last decade, Bucs’ fans are being subjected to another complete rebuild with no end in sight, which has dominated the franchise this century.

In his debut season as the Pirates manager, Derek Shelton’s squad finished in the NL Central division basement, winning just 19 games in the abbreviated 60-game season. Since the 2000 season, Pittsburgh has finished last in the division eight times.

Additionally, the Pirates have only finished as high as second-place in the division three times without capturing a title. All indications point to another last-place finish this season with a possible 100-loss campaign as a real possibility.