The 2013 MLB Playoffs officially get underway tonight when the Cincinnati Reds take on the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Steel City. Unlike other playoff series’ the Wildcard round is a one shot winner-take-all game, so in essence it is going to have a Game 7 type atmosphere.
The Pittsburgh Pirates won the season series 11-8 over the Reds, have the home field advantage, and have played much better baseball than the Reds over the past two weeks by far. However all of that goes out the window in a one game winner-take-all game.
The Pirates and their fans will be stoked for this game. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a winning season since 1992. Think about that for a moment. It’s been over 20 years since they have even had a winning season, let alone made the postseason!
With one win separating Pittsburgh and Cinncy from a shot at the NLDS, they both will hand the ball to a pair of successful starters.
According to a MLB.com report on Oct. 1, Johnny Cueto will go for the Reds, while Francisco Liriano takes the hill for the Bucs.
Cueto has been good in two starts since coming off the DL, and has owned the Pirates in his career. In Johnny’s two starts against the Pirates in 2013 his ERA is under 1.00 (0.73 ERA) and his WHIP is a crazy 0.41. Add to that, Cueto’s career record vs. Pittsburgh is a whopping 13-4, 2.37 ERA, 1.01 WHIP.
On the other hand, Pirates starter Francisco Liriano hasn’t fared well vs. the Reds this season. Liriano is 0-3 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.11 WHIP vs. the Reds so far in 2013, but a win tonight would make up for a season of losses.
According to Jim Feist.com on Oct. 1, Las Vegas odds makers have Pittsburgh a slight favorite at -130 and the over/under number is set at 6.5.
Prediction – The Pirates aren’t the “We are family” gang of 1979, but they have been dreaming of this day for decades – a home playoff game. They get it done at home and move on to the NLDS.
Pick - Pittsburgh