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MLB Betting – Pittsburgh Pirates 2020 Season Preview

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Apr/30/2020

  • Pirates players and fans would likely prefer there to be no season in 2020

  • Team is listed with long +38500 odds to win World Series

  • Bookmaker offering a generous welcome bonus with a maximum of $1000

No season in 2020 would be the best thing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After all the shenanigans last season the team cut ties with its last connection to the success of just a few years ago. Clint Hurdle was relieved of his duties after the Buccos won just 69 games. A new manager, GM and faces on the field are a sign that the team is in rebuild mode. Unfortunately, things tend to get worse before they get better, so don’t count on the Pirates to be a factor this season.

2020 Pittsburgh Pirates At A Glance

Pittsburgh Pirates World Series Odds +38500

Pittsburgh Pirates NL Pennant Odds +20000

Pittsburgh Pirates NL Central Odds +12000

2020 Pittsburgh Pirates Overview

Odds for the season are astronomical and for some clubs dropping a few bucks is a worthwhile risk. Not for these Bucs, though. Just a few years ago the Pirates were a consistent threat hitting the 90-win mark and reaching the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. They never did pull the trigger on a deal that could have put them over the top, and instead are paying for deals that cost them promising youngsters.

The roster is short on major league talent, but you have to start somewhere right? The good news is that the Pirates are in a division where no team stands out. The bad news is that the Buccos are probably the worst of the bunch. There are question marks all over the field and on the bump, but the team isn’t completely void of talent.

Getting the players to actually concentrate and play baseball rather than dealing with widespread organizational dysfunction that was prevalent last year is a step forward. Changing the culture begins with rookie manager Derek Shelton and new GM Ben Cherington. Winning games is up to the players and the Buccos just don’t have enough talent to win a lot of games.

Pitching

The staff wasn’t good last season sporting a 5.18 ERA, fifth-worst in MLB. And honestly, there aren’t many signs pointing to a turnaround in 2020. Chris Archer has been a disaster since coming over from Tampa Bay but he’s hanging around the top of the rotation because there aren’t many other options. Toss in Joe Musgrove, Trevor Williams and Steven Brault, and the rotation isn’t scaring anybody.

Archer is only 31 so there’s a chance he regains the form that made him an All-Star with the Rays. That seems like a herculean task after he went 3-9 with a 5.19 ERA in 23 starts. Musgrove might be the best starter of the bunch entering the season, and that’s not saying much. He did win 11 games, but he also lost 12 with a 4.44 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.

One guy who could make the group stronger is top prospect Mitch Keller. He got a taste of the big leagues last season and struggled on a poor team. In 11 starts he was 1-5 with a 7.13 ERA. He did fan 65 in 48 innings giving the team a glimpse of his lively arm. Jobs in the bullpen are up for grabs. It looks like Keone Kela will open as the closer now that Felipe Vazquez is doing time. But believe me, nothing is set with this group and it could be a revolving door with guys like Kyle Crick, Richard Rodriguez and Nick Burdi, among plenty of others.

Hitting

The Buccos were among the top-10 in all of baseball with a .265 average last year. A lack of power prevented them from scoring more runs, though. Starling Marte, who had 23 bombs last year, was dealt. Their 163 homers were more than just three teams and they ranked 20th in MLB in scoring, so it’s easy to see where they need to improve at the dish. It starts with Josh Bell, a legitimate star after an impressive season that saw him hit .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs. And he fanned just 118 times in 613 plates appearances with a .936 OPS.

There are other pieces that need to continue developing. Brian Reynolds hit .314 with 16 homers as a rookie and Kevin Newman established himself as an everyday shortstop. A slick fielder he also hit .308 with 12 home runs in 130 games. Outside of this trio the Bucs have a lot of issues. The top minor league prospects are at the lower levels so it’s going to take some time for this team to dig out of the hole they got themselves into.

2020 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Pick

Even hardcore fans are going to stay away from throwing down on this team. Rebuilds aren’t pretty and it takes years even if the process is done right. The Buccos appear headed in that direction with new management and a revamped roster. It’s not going to help them in 2020 however.

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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