Today I previewed the Pirates series at Red Reporter. They're kind of the anti-Reds: great offense, lousy starting pitching. The net result is pretty much the same; both teams are a tick below .500.
The Pirates were forecasted by many to regress from their fairy-tale season last year, and they have. They sit a game below 0.500, a consequence primarily of their struggling pitching staff. While their rotation was a strength last season, they have struggled this year to put together good outings. Even more problematic, their top two starters, Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole, recently found themselves on the disabled list with a strained oblique and shoulder fatigue, respectively.
The good news for the Pirates is that their offense has been dynamite. Their 105 wRC+ is the second-best in the league, and the arrival of Gregory Polanco might mean they could get even better. The Reds' pitching staff could well have their hands full trying to contain the Pirates' bats.