A week into June and the National League Central division is almost locked up
Pirate ship is sinking.
The Pirates usually start playing their best baseball in the summer, but unfortunately it might already be too late. The team trails the Cubs by almost double digits in the standings and the gap shouldn’t be expected to close anytime soon. The Cubs are easily the best team in baseball and they are almost impossible to beat at Wrigley Field. The Pirates must have their best summer in franchise history to have a chance at catching the Cubs.
Best Pirates roster in years
I know I just said that the Pirates can’t catch the Cubs, but that isn’t a knock against Pittsburgh. This is the deepest Pirates roster in years. It is a common belief that the Pirates might have the 2nd best team in baseball. It’s a shame that they are destined to play the wild card game for the 4th year in a row. The Pirates can match up against any team in a 5 or 7 game series, even the Cubs. The problem has been avoiding other team’s aces. Once again, the aces of the potential teams that the Pirates could play in the play in game all are the strongest in baseball. The deeper teams rely on many arms to get the bye’s while the teams that rely on one or two aces often fall into the wild card game. Pittsburgh has been at home for all 3 wild card games and had Major League Baseball not instituted the wild card, the Pirates could have won the world series the past two years based on their roster.
Josh Harrison can’t catch a break
Harrison almost won the batting title a few years ago. This year he is in position to make a run at it, but Washington’s 2nd baseman Daniel Murphy is having an insane season. Murphy is running away with the title but as we have seen over the years, June and July really dictate the way that the batting title goes. I predict Harrison to maintain his average and Murphy to fall off. It could be a 5 or 6 man race for the NL batting title if Murphy’s falls off. Harrison has been the Pirates most consistent player over the years and he would be a star player on plenty of other rosters.
Follow Josh King on Twitter @joshking65