The Pirates are now underdogs in the NL Central after being swept by St. Louis over the weekend. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

So it turns out being swept by the St. Louis Cardinals hurts your chances of winning the National League Central division.

The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped all three games at Busch Stadium this weekend, by a margin of 26-10, to move from odds-on division favorite to underdogs in the Central.

Let's look at the standings for the three-team fight:

St. Louis: 83-60
Pittsburgh: 81-61 (1.5 games back)
Cincinnati: 82-62 (1.5 games back)

The Pirates have a slight advantage over the Cincinnati Reds, given the Bucs' better winning percentage.

On to the odds!

Baseball Prospectus: 92-70 record, 18.8% division odds, 99.7% playoff odds

The projections fr...

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James dabbles in the baseballey-writey world. He won the SABR Analytics Conference Research Award for contemporary baseball analysis. It was for that defensive shifts piece, you remember that? Not a huge deal, he also lost a bunch of other awards. He has also written for NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Sports Report and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. By night, James is a television news reporter and weekend anchor for WKBN and WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio. Makes sense, seeing as how his degree from the University of Southern California is in Broadcast Journalism. James dispenses more bad jokes at his Twitter account, @JamesSantelli. It's there that he promises to write in the first-person.