Time For The Pirates To Clean Up

Favorable schedule begs for great stretch of ball for Bucs

The Fan Morning Show
May 15, 2018 - 11:16 am
Josh Bell & Francisco Cervelli celebrate

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It's fairly safe to say that the Pirates have exceeded expectations to this point in the 2018 season. Before play on Tuesday, the Pirates sit at 23-17 on the season and are just one game back of the Milwaukee Brewers for the NL Central lead.

Have you looked at the upcoming schedule here over these next nine games? The Fan Morning Show did and said it's time for the Bucs to clean up.

Pittsburgh has two games against the Chicago White Sox, who own MLB's worst record at 10-27. Then, it's a four-game series against the San Diego Padres who sit at the basement of the NL West at 16-27. After that, they go on the road to play a 3-game series with the Reds in Cincinnati, the NL Central bottom-dwellers at 14-28. 

That's a combined record of 40-82. A whopping 42 games below .500 and it's only May.

The Pirates have outscored their opponents by 23 runs this season. Their next three opponents have been outscored by a combined 154 runs, with the leader in the house being the White Sox at a -67 on the year.

Colin Dunlap said that he wants the Pirates to go 7-2 over this stretch. Anything less would be a disappointment and a failure to take advantage of this opportunity to stack wins and potentially separate themselves in the standings. Pirates broadcaster Joe Block joined the show and said 7-2 is a tough ask at any point for a Major League team but the Pirates have done nothing this season but prove that they can/will beat their lesser opponents.

Joe's words are correct as the Pirates are 13-4 against teams with losing records so far this year. 

This weak stretch is particularly magnified by two things. The first, the NL Central is the tightest in baseball as the top four teams are only separated by two games. The second, 16 of the next 19 games after this stretch are against either top divisional teams (Cubs, Cardinals) or a top NL team (Diamondbacks) with the exception being the injured Dodgers. 

Let's see if the Bucs can take advantage. It's go time.