Buster Olney has been doing his top ten lists at ESPN, naming his top rotations, infields, outfields, and so on. The Pirates haven't been on any list, but I did see something interesting at the bottom of his infield article (Insider subscription required). Olney had a simulation from AccuScore showing the impact of the Houston Astros leaving the NL Central for the AL West.
In the simulation, AccuScore projected the standings with the 2012 alignment and the 2013 alignment. In the 2012 alignment, the Pirates were averaging 71.4 wins. In the 2013 alignment simulations, the Pirates were averaging 67.9 wins. Their chances of the playoffs in each case were next to nothing.
I used to work for AccuScore, providing these types of projections and translating them to outlets like ESPN, USA Toda...
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