Despite a record below .500, the Cleveland Guardians find themselves in the thick of the American League Central race and looking to close to gain more ground in the race when they face the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road on Wednesday.
Cleveland Guardians (-125, 9) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
For the Pirates, they have scored the fewest runs of any team in the National League since the beginning of the month of May, plating an average of 3.57 runs per game while also owning a National League-worst .225 batting average in their last 65 games entering Tuesday since May with their 49 home runs in that span being the fewest in the whole league.
In this span the Guardians are 24th in the league in runs per game and overall for the season have the fewest home runs of any MLB team with their 4.1 runs per game for the season 27th in the league.
Pirates starter Rich Hill will look to keep the Guardians offense dormant as he’s had recent struggles with a 4.79 ERA for the season with at least three runs allowed in six straight starts.
Even though Hill is the oldest active starting pitcher in major League Baseball, he’s still getting eight strikeouts per nine innings while allowing just 1.1 home runs per nine innings, posting a fielding independent that is lower than his ERA at 4.39.
On the other side, Guardians starter Aaron Civale has a 2.65 ERA with 7.2 strikeouts and 2.7 walks per nine innings this season and having allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his eight starts since coming off the injured list
The Guardians aid Civale further with a bullpen that entered Tuesday ranked 10th in the league in ERA.
With both offense having a myriad of issues this season coupled with Civale’s recent dominance and it sets up for a struggle at the plate for all involved on Wednesday.
The Play: Guardians vs. Pirates Under 9