Buster Olney from ESPN made quite a prediction for the Pittsburgh Pirates this morning, picking them to win the World Series this year. He was very high on the Pirates while posting his rankings early in the season, rating them as the fifth best team in baseball, crediting them with the second best outfield and placing them among the best for their rotation, lineup, defense and bullpen.
Playoff predictions: AL Orioles, Indians, Mariners; DET, NYY. NL Nationals, Pirates, Dodgers; Cardinals, Marlins. PIT to win WS over SEA.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 20, 2015
Olney did have the Pirates fourth among NL teams in his overall rankings, so something must have changed since January 19th for him to pick them as the World Series winners. It is basically the same team as back then, with Travis Snider and Brandon Cumpton(Tommy John surgery) the key missing pieces and Arquimedes Caminero the key addition. Jung-Ho Kang was officially added three days prior to the article, so it is unlikely he is the reason for the jump.
The Cardinals(ranked 4th by Olney) have done very little since the article and the Washington Nationals(ranked #1) seem to be the team to beat in all of baseball, so take the prediction this morning for what you will.