On ESPN.com on Friday afternoon, David Schoenfield wrapped up his rankings on all 30 teams in baseball and he placed the Pittsburgh Pirates third in all of baseball. They are also third in the National League, falling behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals.
Schoenfield put a lot of work into these rankings, splitting them up into five separate articles. In his evaluation of the Pirates, he says they have a deep lineup and he expects them to be even better at scoring runs this year, with a bounce back from Pedro Alvarez being key to the added offense. He also praises their depth, defense and says the outfield trio of Gregory Polanco, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte “may be the best all-around group in the game”. He also thinks the starting rotation is strong, saying the Pirates have done just fine without an ace, while also saying Gerrit Cole could be the team’s breakout player this year.
His final record prediction is 91-71, putting them three wins above the St Louis Cardinals for the NL Central.