Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 9/22/13
Reds (88-67) at Pirates (89-66) 1:35 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh MLB.com Gameday TV: ROOT It’s the final regular season home game of the year for the Pirates, and that’s usually a sad day. Today, though, it’s just one more huge game, and there’s a very good chance that the Bucs will return to PNC for a postseason home game, although that’s no guarantee (I put the odds at about 80%…they’re slightly better than 50/50 to get the wild card game at home…if not, chances of winning the wild card game are about 50/50…and there’s still a slight chance they can win the division). The Pirates will try and take this series from the Reds, which would give them a two game edge on Cinci going in to the final week, and would maintain some pressure on the Cardinals (they play later tonight). The Nats play a doubleheader today, so the Pirates could clinch a playoff spot by the end of the night if they win and the Nats lose both. Sadly, it can’t happen when fans are still at PNC Park, unless the game is delayed for like seven hours or they play 30 innings. But Nats wins may not be a bad thing, as it would keep them in earshot of the last WC spot and they would have motivation next week against the Cards. Today’s starters… Bronson Arroyo (13-11, 3.56) vs. Jeff Locke (10-6, 3.27) Arroyo has been solid all season and has made his mark as a very consistent veteran pitcher. He’ll get shelled once in a while but is usually a good bet to go deep in to the game, which would be big for the Reds after Homer Bailey didn’t get through six yesterday. He’s only faced the Pirates once this year and delivered a very strong start. Locke was back to his awful second half self in his last start, and was pretty lucky to not allow even more than he did. I don’t like giving him this start, but he has done well against Cincinnati this season and the Reds are vulnerable against left handers. The Bucs should be able to skip Locke’s next turn thanks to an off day, so this could be his final start of the season, especially if it goes badly.
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