Pittsburgh Pirates Rivals Report: Pirates Slide Even Further

Pittsburgh Pirates Rivals Report: Pirates Slide Even Further

Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates Rivals Report: Pirates Slide Even Further

There’s been moderate movement at the top of the National League Central. The Brewers still hold a small lead over the Cubs, while the Cardinals continue to slip further behind first place. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Reds are about to swap places as the former continues to get obliterated in baseball games.

Milwaukee Brewers

Actual W/L: 53-35

Pythagorean W/L: 50-38

What’s going right

The Brewers keep winning, and have won five straight and seven of their last 10. Over the last week, Milwaukee has had strong outings from its starting pitchers, posting a 2.78 ERA over that time, good enough for fifth in baseball.

What’s going wrong

On the flip side of that, the bullpen has struggled over that same stretch. It seems odd with Jeremy Jeffress, Josh Hader, and Corey Knebel commanding the backend, but the Brewers’ pen carries a 7.01 ERA over the last week.

Disabled list: Lorenzo Cain, Zach Davies, Jimmy Nelson, Wade Miley, Brent Suter, Stephen Vogt, Nick Franklin, Matt Albers

Chicago Cubs

Actual W/L: 49-36

Pythagorean W/L: 49-36

What’s going right

Since the end of June, the Cubs are first in baseball in terms of runs scored with 47. That high total has enabled them to go 7-3 in their last 10 and keep pace with the surging Brewers. The expectation is that the Cubs will overtake Milwaukee, but it’s shaping up to be a close finish.

What’s going wrong

The Cubs starting pitching hasn’t been getting the job done. With a 5.81 ERA (5.30 FIP), the Chicago starters have been among some of the worst in baseball. Fortunately for them, the offense has stabilized the team and helped to avoid a skid to begin July.

Disabled list: Kris Bryant, Yu Darvish, Drew Smyly, Eddie Butler, Brian Duensing, Justin Hancock

St. Louis Cardinals

Actual W/L: 45-42

Pythagorean W/L: 46-41

What’s going right

Over the last week, Jedd Gyorko has been one of the most potent hitters in baseball. In terms of wRC+, he’s near the top of the leaderboard. Gyorko sports a 198 in that category, which is top 15 in the game. He’s also produced an OPS over 1.000 at 1.150.

What’s going wrong

The Cardinals seem to be facing a little bit of inner turmoil. St. Louis’ Front Office and management team has been publicly calling out Dexter Fowler for his lack of desire and hustle, perhaps none more than Mike Matheny. In feuds between players and management, the clubhouse never wins. We may see that creep in as the Cardinals try to stay above .500.

Disabled list: Alex Reyes, Michael Wacha, Adam Wainwright, Tyler O’Neill, Luke Gregerson, Dominic Leone, Tyler Lyons, Ryan Sherriff

Pittsburgh Pirates

Actual W/L: 40-47

Pythagorean W/L: 39-48

What’s going right

Well, not much. I’m not going to try to conjure up stats to suggest there’s a bright spot. They’ve been struggling… and not just mediocre team struggling. It’s been a dumpster fire. The only positive is that it should be evident to Neal Huntington and the Front Office that this team will be sellers at the deadline, and maybe they’ll be able to purge some of their veteran weight, enabling younger talent to get Major League reps.

What’s going wrong

Everything! There’s not much more to say other than the pitching staff gave up 17 runs… twice… in four days. I still don’t think this team will lose 100 games (however “this team” looks in terms of roster configuration come September is yet to be seen), but these are the kinds of things 100-loss teams do. Wave the white flag, Pittsburgh – this season’s over.

Disabled list: Francisco Cervelli, Joe Musgrove, Chad Kuhl, Sean Rodriguez, Nick Burdi, Michael Feliz, A.J. Schugel, Nik Turley

Cincinnati Reds

Actual W/L: 39-49

Pythagorean W/L: 41-47

What’s going right

Actually, kind of a lot. Like Milwaukee and Chicago, the Reds seem to keep winning – now winners in seven of their last 10. If you look at Cincinnati and Pittsburgh’s Pythagorean W/L record, you see the Reds should technically be better with regard to runs scored. It appears that the Reds will soon take over fourth place, leaving the Pirates to stew in fifth. More importantly, with the success of this year’s squad (compared to expectations), they might not have to part with players like Scooter Gennett.

What’s going wrong

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, not much. When a team is expected to be as bad as the Reds were supposed to be, the performance they’ve given since Jim Riggleman took over has been nothing short of remarkable. They finished near .500 in May (13-15), and over .500 in June (15-11). They’ve also started July 4-1. How about those Reds?

Disabled list: Homer Bailey, Rookie Davis

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