Baseball Prospectus has released their pre-season playoff odds and predictions, and have the Pittsburgh Pirates projected for a 79-83 record. The odds give the Pirates a 17% chance of making the playoffs, which is made up of a 6.8% chance of winning the division, and a 10.2% chance of winning a Wild Card spot.
Pat Lackey wrote about this earlier today, pointing out that this shouldn’t be cause for celebration, but that it is good to see the Pirates projected to finish around .500. There have been a few similar projections coming out recently, such as the Vegas over/under odds being placed at 79 wins. Obviously you’d like to see the Pirates projected with a winning record, but somewhere around .500 isn’t horrible. In previous years the Pirates would have needed a lot of things to go right to even have a shot at contending. If you’re projected to finish near .500, you obviously don’t need the perfect storm of events to occur in order to make that jump to a contender.