Reds vs. Pirates: Preview, pitching matchup, and prediction

Sep 16, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson (37) eyes Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Ben Gamel (18) sliding into home plate. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 16, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson (37) eyes Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Ben Gamel (18) sliding into home plate. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts in the seventh inning.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 17: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts in the seventh inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchup: Reds vs. Pirates

Vladimir Gutierrez (9-6 4.52 ERA) will go to the hill tonight still in search of his 10th victory on the season. Opposing Gutierrez will be Dillon Peters (1-2 2.66 ERA) of the Pirates. The Reds are hoping for a better outcome versus Peters this go-around.

Gutierrez was roughed up by the Buccos during his last outing, and the right-hander will surely be looking for revenge after going just 3.2 innings last Wednesday in the Steel City. Gutierrez hasn’t made it past the fourth inning in three of his last four starts and has a 7.80 ERA during that stretch. The Reds’ bullpen better be ready.

The Redlegs couldn’t figure Dillon Peters out during last Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh. The southpaw went five innings, struck out five batters, and didn’t allow a run. Look for a bevy of right-handed bats in David Bell’s lineup tonight with Jose Barrero likely getting another start in center field.

Tyler Mahle (12-5 3.59 ERA) heads to the bump on Tuesday night and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s starting pitcher Mitch Keller (4-11 6.14 ERA). Mahle will need to be wary of Ke’Bryan Hayes, as the rookie is 4-for-6 against the Reds’ right-hander with a home run this season.

Mahle hasn’t been great at home. Of the 23 homers Mahle has surrendered this season, 18 have come at Great American Ball Park. Mahle needs to keep the ball in the yard on Tuesday night in order to give his team a chance to win.

Mitch Keller hasn’t been very good this season. In his last outing versus the Redlegs, the Bucs’ right-hander went five innings, surrendered two earned runs, and struck out just three. Look for Nick Castellanos to feast on Keller, as the All-Star outfielder is hitting .353 off the Pirates’ starter this season and has two round trippers.

Pirates’ skipper Derek Shelton hasn’t announced a starting pitcher for Wednesday’s game just yet, but David Bell will send his ace to the hill. Luis Castillo (8-15 4.08 ERA) had, perhaps, his best outing the season last Friday versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, punching out 10 batters through 6.1 innings of work.

Castillo has been an enigma this season. We saw the right-hander struggle mightily during the early part of the season, only to turn things around midway through his 2021 campaign. Castillo has been very good in his last seven starts, going 45.1 innings, striking out 51 batters, and posting a 2.78 ERA. Pirates’ All-Star, Bryan Reynolds, is 0-for-9 versus Castillo this season.