*1. LA Dodgers 65-52 (+3.5)
*2. St Louis Cardinals 62-56
* Miami Marlins 62-56
Pittsburgh Pirates 60-56
New York Mets 59-59
Six weeks to go in the baseball season and the narrative has changed in a big way over the last week for the Pirates.
A bridge season?
No so much.
The National League has so much mediocrity, there’s no excuse for the Pirates not to grab one of the final wildcard spots.
The Pirates recent turnaround, 7-3 in their last 10 games, has also been a good run for management that had a bad PR week in the immediate fallout of the Pirates cost cutting trades.
All three trade acquisitions at the Major League level, Felipe Rivero, Ivan Nova and Antonio Bastardo, are making immediate contributions.
Rivero/Nova/Bastardo > Melancon/Liriano?
Now it’s also not a stretch that ownership gets the best of both worlds.
Cut salary at the trade deadline and earn a fourth straight playoff berth.
Amid the Pirates recent turnaround and the emergence of starters Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl, is still questions about Gerrit Cole.
A problem for Cole is left handed hitters have figured him out. Lefties are hitting .309 against Cole this season.
The slider just isn’t where it was in past years and the lack of a changeup has raised a red flag with scouts. A lot of the off-speed movement is high.
Way too small of a sample to say that Andrew McCutchen has fully turned a corner and is back, but McCutchen’s .444 on-base percentage so far in August is the first step in the right direction.