This afternoon the Cincinnati Reds (8-10) will play host to the Pittsburgh Pirates (3-13) with a 5:10pm ET start. The only team in Major League Baseball with fewer wins than the Pirates are the St. Louis Cardinals, and they have only played five games this season. Every other team has at least five wins this year. Cincinnati will look to take advantage of what should be a Pittsburgh team they should have a real edge on over the next few days.

Starting Lineups

Pittsburgh Pirates

Cincinnati Reds

Adam Frazier – 2B Shogo Akiyama – LF
Kevin Newman – SS Nick Castellanos – RF
Josh Bell – DH Joey Votto – 1B
Colin Moran – 1B Eugenio Suarez – 3B
Bryan Reynolds – LF Jesse Winker – DH
Gregory Polanco – RF Nick Senzel – CF
Erik Gonzalez – 3B Freddy Galvis – SS
Jarrod Dyson – CF Josh VanMeter – 2B
Jacob Stallings – C Tucker Barnhart – C
Trevor Williams – SP Anthony DeSclafani – SP

David Bell has stacked his lineup with left-handed hitters, with only Nick Castellanos, Eugenio Suarez, and Nick Senzel in the starting lineup as hitters from the right side. That could be important as you’ll see how Pirates starter Trevor Williams performs against lefties below in the starting pitcher breakdown.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
A. DeSclafani 11.0 0.00 0.55 2.6% 21.1%
Trevor Williams 15.1 3.52 1.11 7.8% 21.9%
Links: Anthony DeSclafani Stats | Trevor Williams Stats

Anthony DeSclafani

After missing the first start of the season, Anthony DeSclafani has made the next two and hasn’t allowed a run in 11.0 innings. He’s only walked one batter and he’s allowing about one baserunner every other inning. That’s a pretty good start to the season.


Home 82.1 3.50 15 8.1% 24.9% .227 .294 .422
Away 84.1 4.27 14 6.0% 23.1% .248 .297 .422
1st Half 86.2 4.26 17 7.0% 24.1% .267 .322 .481
2nd Half 80.0 3.49 12 7.1% 23.8% .204 .265 .354

Home or road in 2019, Anthony DeSclafani was about the same. But the first half and second half were quite different. His ERA was lower thanks to fewer home runs. Part of that is probably related to the fact that his ground ball rate went from 38% to 48% from the first to second half.

vsRHH 333 73 12 0 12 3.0% 25.8% .230 .257 .381
vsLHH 363 78 16 1 17 10.7% 22.3% .246 .331 .464

For Anthony DeSclafani there are clear splits versus lefties and righties. Lefties walk more than three times as often, strike out a little less, and hit for significantly more power than righties do.

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve
Velo 94.9 94.7 89.4 88.6 83.2
Usage 37% 18% 25% 14% 5%
Value/100 0.14 1.14 1.13 1.43 -1.30
MLB Rank 61 18 27 21 81
MLB Rank among 130 pitchers with 100 IP in 2019

Only the curveball for Anthony DeSclafani was considered a below-average pitch in 2019 according to the Fangraphs Pitch Values. He’ll bring five pitches to the plate, and it’s the curveball that gets the least amount of usage. The fastball, either one, comes in about 50% of the time. He’ll mix in an above-average slider and curveball plenty to back up the fastball.

Trevor Williams

This season has seen Trevor Williams make three starts. His first two weren’t great – giving up three earned in 3.2 innings to kick off the season, and then two earned in 4.2 innings on July 31st. But his last outing, against Minnesota, saw the right-handed pitcher give up just three hits, a walk, and one run in 7.0 innings. He still took the loss in the game as the Pirates offense couldn’t get going and the bullpen gave up four runs.


Home 66.2 5.54 13 6.2% 16.5% .289 .336 .541
Away 79.0 5.24 14 7.5% 18.8% .279 .340 .489
1st Half 71.1 4.54 9 4.3% 18.8% .275 .316 .450
2nd Half 74.1 6.17 18 9.3% 16.9% .292 .359 .574

When it comes to the home and road splits there’s not much of a difference other than a higher home run rate at home than on the road in 2019, which led to a higher slugging percentage in Pittsburgh. But when you look at the first half and second half splits it’s very clear that there were some big differences. His walk rate more than doubled in the second half, as did his home run rate, and that all took place while he was also striking out fewer hitters.

vsRHH 362 82 20 3 17 5.8% 21.3% .248 .300 .482
vsLHH 274 80 20 2 10 8.4% 13.1% .332 .388 .556

This is the split where you see an enormous difference against Trevor Williams. Right-handed hitters hit for power, but don’t do much else against him. But left-handed hitters do it all – or at least they did in 2019 – against him. They hit .332 with a good on-base percentage thanks to a solid walk rate and an incredibly low strikeout rate. And they hit for tons of power.

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change
Velo 91.5 90.0 83.0 85.0
Usage 52% 15% 20% 12%
Value/100 -0.34 0.99 -1.40 -1.83
MLB Rank 83 22 81 96
MLB Rank among 130 pitchers with 100 IP in 2019

Now, before we totally jump in here, I should note that this season Trevor Williams has thrown a curveball 15 times this season. If you look above you see that there’s no curveball listed. That’s because he only threw 21 last year and it wasn’t enough to even bring up as the value, rank, usage simply wasn’t worth anything. This season he’s thrown it 6% of the time and it’s averaged 77.9 MPH.

For the rest of the stuff, he’s been fastball heavy in the past, mixing in the 4-seamer and 2-seamer 67% of the time last year. This season that’s only been 52% between the two, but it’s also only been three games. His slider usage is up (27%), as is the change up usage (16%). Last year the 2-seamer was an above-average pitch, and it was the only one that he had – but he’s throwing it less now than he did last year. Instead he’s throwing the slider and change up more often and those were among the worst in baseball among starters last season.

When and Where

  • Game time: 5:10pm ET
  • Where: Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio,, MLB Network (out of market)
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 86°, partly cloudy, 5% chance of rain

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 12 3
Cardinals 2 3 5.0
Reds 8 10 5.5
Brewers 7 9 5.5
Pirates 3 13 9.5

News and Notes

After starting the season 2-23 (.087), Jesse Winker has gone 13-22 (.591) in the last eight games, posting an OPS of 1.758 in that span.

Four of the players in the Cincinnati Reds lineup have at least 10 at-bats against Trevor Williams in their careers. Joey Votto has the most and he’s 10-25 (.400). Eugenio Suarez is the opposite of that one, as he’s 3-18 (.167). Catcher Tucker Barnhart is 5-11 (.455), and Nick Castellanos is 4-11 (.364) against the Pirates starter.

Updated Prospect Rankings

The crew over at MLB Pipeline/ have updated their version of the Cincinnati Reds Top 30 Prospect list as well as updated their farm system rankings.

MLB Pipeline’s updated Cincinnati Reds Top 30 Prospect List