2011 Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Predictions and Futures Odds
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 3/3/2011
The Triple Crown is a rare feat in baseball. It has not been achieved by an individual in the National League since Joe “Ducky” Medwick did it in 1937.
The kind of Triple Crown the Pittsburgh Pirates achieved last year is as rare as it is dubious. The Pirates, a team known for setting all the wrong kind of records, found a way to finish last in the NL in batting, pitching and defense.
The statistical nightmare that was the Pittsburgh Pirates 2010 season translated into a 57-105 train wreck of a year that put an exclamation point on the franchise’s record-breaking 18th-consecutive losing streak, a North American professional sports record.
A low payroll, a terrible lineup, an even worse rotation and a revolving clubhouse door has the Pirates churning out 90-plus loss seasons like clockwork. It is also the reason nobody expects the streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons to be remotely in danger this season.
The Pirates are 186-299 in the past three seasons. That is simply remarkable. If not for a few rainouts that were never made up the Pirates might have more than 300 losses in three years. Some quick math will tell you that is an average of 100 losses every year for three years. These 100-loss seasons don’t grow on trees, well at least outside of Pittsburgh.
The names change but the results don’t. Clint Hurdle takes over at manager. The appropriately named skipper is about to find out what kind of hurdle looms ahead with taking over this group of castaways.
With that in mind, here is Doc’s Sports 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates MLB predictions and future odds:
2010 Record: 57-105
2011 Wins Over/Under: 66.5
Odds To Win 2011 NL Central: 40/1
Odds To Win 2011 NL Pennant: 150/1
2011 Pittsburgh Pirates Odds To Win World Series: 2000/1
Pitching: In terms of ranking, the Pirates pitching could not get any worse, they were 30th in the league last season, dead last. In terms of ERA, it definitely can get worse. The Pirates team ERA was 5.00. To rank last in the league in the NL is remarkable considering you get to face a pitcher one time every time through the lineup unlike in the AL where a DH awaits.
Opponents hit .282 collectively against Pittsburgh pitching, meaning that everybody who stepped into the box against a Pirates pitcher was basically carrying an all-stars batting average.
The Pirates will piece together a starting rotation with the likes of Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, James McDonald and the recently acquired Kevin Correia from San Diego. The likes of Charlie Morton, Scott Olsen, Brad Lincoln and Brian Burres will duke it out for the honor to be called the No. 5 starter on worst-team in baseball.
Hitting: There are some young prospects with some talent who have not been traded yet, including Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata, but then there are also the veteran journeymen players who just take up space like Lyle Overbay, Ronny Cedeno, Chris Snyder and Matt Diaz. For a team that notoriously refuses to spend money, Pirate management never has a problem tossing a few million dollars at guys like Overbay and Snyder to make them rethink retirement.
Key Stat: 866-587. That is what the Pirates were outscored by last season, an unthinkable 279 runs over the course of one baseball season. In the modern era of baseball, worse numbers may never be seen again, well… besides with this team.
2011 Pittsburgh Pirates Predictions: The projected Pirates 2011 payroll is $43 million, the lowest in baseball. Money doesn’t buy wins, but trotting out the cheapest team money can buy following a 105-loss season is a recipe for a circus Ringling Brothers would be envious of.
Pirates management went as far as to call out the fans, saying, that even after 18 years of not even producing a .500 season, that payroll will only go up once ticket sales increase. One Pittsburgh columnist likened the Pirates latest promotion to blackmail.
2011 O/U Wins Prediction: ‘Under’ 66.5: Some teams have 67 wins entering September. Obviously the Pirates are not some teams. Years of colossal mismanagement and incompetence has left this team in worse position now than it was 10 years ago, or about three rebuilding processes ago.
The vicious cycle continues this year. For the ‘over’ to hit the Pirates would need to show a 10-game improvement over last year. There is a better chance the Pirates finish 10 games worse.
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