Written and authored by Major League Baseball Expert Analyst Charlie McDougall. Charliessports.com produces it for Baseball news and notes. The Pittsburgh Pirates are getting back playing competitive Baseball in a city that is hungry and known for winning. The chant “WE ARE FAMILY” roared from fans in the stands that saw the team win the 1979 World Series. The early 1990’s the teams won three straight division titles and for over twenty years the franchise had marginal success. Pittsburgh has been in the postseason the past two seasons and optimism is in the air again in 2015.
This Sports Handicapper believes the Pittsburgh Pirates have the best player in baseball. 28-year-old Andrew “Cutch” McCutchen is entering his seventh season in the “STEEL CITY”. The 2013 league Most Valuable Player wants to kick the door in this season. Pittsburgh has been in the playoffs the past two season’s as a Wildcard team. It’s time to take it to the next level and bring back the good “OLE DAYS”. Manager Clint Hurdle leads the charge into the 2015. Pitcher Francisco Liriano inked a new 3-year deal in December, keeping him in Pittsburgh. A. J. Burnett came over from the Phillies with an 8 Million dollar price tag. Corey Hart is now a member of the Pirates; the once All Star in Milwaukee can add a pop to the lineup. Shortstop Clint Barmes left for San Diego, and catcher Russell Martin is now a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. The loss of Martin will hurt, he brought a sense of leadership to the team. Pittsburgh will probably lose more emerging stars down the road in MLB Picks free agency. The Pirates are in on of the smaller markets and can’t always meet salary demands of stars.
That is an excuse, the Kansas City Royals are also in that category but came within one game of becoming World Champions. Hurdle is a great leader, and McCutchen is a dynamic personality. Pittsburgh has a great pitching rotation with Liriano, Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Jeff Locke and Vance Worley, who is getting his form back. Liriano, Cole and Locke are shut down pitchers who can beat the best batting orders in Major League Baseball. The problem for Pittsburgh is replacing Martin. Hart is capable of taking on that task; he’s a veteran player who was an All-Star in 2008 and 2010. PNC is one of the best Parks to watch a baseball game at and this is going to be a magical summer where the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. Bovada.Lv has the Pittsburgh Pirates at 28/1 to win the 2015 MLB World Series crown.