Tyler Stephenson and the streaking Reds look to keep up their winning ways in Pittsburgh

Cincinnati Reds pinch hitter Tyler Stephenson (37) reacts as he rounds the bases.
Cincinnati Reds pinch hitter Tyler Stephenson (37) reacts as he rounds the bases. / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
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Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Pirates

Reds starting pitcher Connor Overton vs. Pirates starting pitcher JT Brubaker

Former Pirates pitcher Connor Overton (0-0 2.53 ERA) will face his old team for the second time in a week in tonight's series opener. Pittsburgh will counter with JT Brubaker (0-2 5.68 ERA). Two starts into his Reds career, Overton has been nothing short of brilliant.

In two starts, the right-hander has tossed 10.2 innings of nine-hit three-run baseball. Overton befuddled his former teammates in his last start allowing just two runs over 5.1 frames which included four punch outs without walking a batter.

Don't expect to see JT Brubaker go very deep in this evening's contest. The right-hander has failed to go past five innings in the young 2022 season, which is great news for Reds' outfielder Tyler Naquin. In their 11 head-to-head battles, Naquin has collected just one hit.

Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle vs. Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller

Friday night finds Cincinnati Reds starter Tyler Mahle (1-4 6.46 ERA) opposing Mitch Keller (0-4 6.11 ERA) of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Inefficient outings, a major problem for Mahle throughout his career, continue to haunt the Cincinnati right-hander in 2022.

Mahle has average over 20 pitches per inning in each of his last six starts. As a result, the California native is still seeking his first quality start of the 2022 season. If the Reds are to climb back to respectability, Tyler Mahle must find a way to get outs early in the count.

His numbers are ugly, but they don't tell the full story of Mitch Keller's season. The Bucs' right-hander has been on the losing end of two starts where he tossed a combined 11.2 innings while surrendering just two runs. Let's hope the Reds see the same Keller they did last weekend when the Redlegs dented the plate five times in only 4.1 frames.

Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo vs. Pirates starting pitcher Zach Thompson

Luis Castillo (0-0 5.79 ERA) makes his second start of the season Saturday night as Zach Thompson (1-3 7.08 ERA) toes the rubber for the home team. It was a welcomed sight for Reds Country seeing Castillo on the mound earlier this week.

La Piedra cruised through the first three innings in his debut before running into trouble in the fourth and fifth frames against the Brewers on Monday night. Historically, the Cincinnati right-hander has dominated the Pirates. He's 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA in his five outings versus the Bucs.

Pittsburgh right-hander Zach Thompson has been terrible in every start this season except one, which, of course, came against the Reds. The 28-year-old hurler tossed five shutout innings last weekend at Great American Ball Park. Don't expect to see a similar performance this time around.

Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene vs. Pirates starting pitcher Jose Quintana

Sunday afternoon's matinee and series finale will feature Hunter Greene (1-5 7.62 ERA) while Jose Quintana (1-1 2.70 ERA) gets the call for Derek Shelton's club. The Cincinnati rookie is coming off, arguably, the best start in his young MLB career.

Greene whiffed six Brewers and allowed just two runs as he worked into the sixth inning for the second time this season. Additionally, the 22-year-old has 35 punch outs in just 26 frames to open his rookie campaign.

Southpaw Jose Quintana has been fantastic in his debut season with the Pirates. Taking the hill six times in 2022, Quintana has given up as many as three runs in just one outing. This will be his first start against the Cincinnati Reds since the 2019 season.