Don’t look now, but the Pittsburgh Pirates have the best record in the National League after their win on Thursday afternoon.
Pittsburgh has been one of the worst teams in all of baseball for the last few years. They have lost 100+ games in each of the last two seasons, and would have done so in 2020 if it weren’t for the covid-shortened season. They haven’t finished better than third place in the NL Central in 8 years, and haven’t won the division ever. The Pirates’ last division championship came in 1992 when they were a part of the NL East.
The Pittsburgh Pirates Are Sitting Atop The National League
– Take 2 of 3 from the Dodgers
– Are 10 games over .500
– Have the best record in the National League pic.twitter.com/5t57XxI7Ag
— MLB (@MLB) April 27, 2023
In 2022, Pittsburgh finished with a record of 62-100, tied for third-worst in the MLB.
But things have taken a sharp U-turn for the Pirates through the first month of the 2023 season. Thanks to well distributed batting and solid pitching from nearly everyone in their starting rotation, they currently have the best record in the National League after their victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.
At time of writing, the Atlanta Braves were a half-game back of the top spot and were in action against the Marlins. At worst, the Pirates will have a share of the league lead at day’s end.
The production as come from different pieces up and down the roster. Bryan Reynolds is the standout star who just received a hefty contract extension, but there are other players that are stepping up as well. Andrew McCutchen is back in black and yellow and is having a career resurgence by hitting 5 home runs on a .272 average thus far, and is one of six players with 10+ RBIs so far.
On their pitching staff, four of their five starters are boasting ERAs under 4.
Pirates Still Getting No Love From Oddsmakers
Another series win ✅ pic.twitter.com/XJJCXqeDPJ
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 27, 2023
Despite their hot start, they aren’t getting much love from the sports books and oddsmakers when it comes to their chances of winning anything of significance. As it stands today, the Pittsburgh Pirates are listed at +4000 to win the National League pennant, ranking them 11th out of 15th in that regard. The only teams with longer odds are the Marlins, Reds, Rockies, and Nationals.
The Pirates will have a chance to keep their hot start rolling with a three-game series this weekend against the Washington Nationals, but things will get more difficult after that. They’ll travel to play the Tampa Bay Rays next week, who are the hottest team in baseball, and will follow that up with a series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
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