Normally we only do one playoff projection each week. In last Friday's update, the Pirates had the sixth best odds of making the post season, and were sitting just outside of the second Wild Card spot. Since then, they've gone 3-2, with two big wins against the NL Wild Card contending San Francisco Giants. That has given the Pirates a slight jump in the projections this week.

The purpose of this update isn't to provide the weekly recap of where the Pirates stand. Instead, it's to freeze the projections before a Jon Lester trade could be made, so that we can see the impact Lester might have on the rest of the season. Below are the projections, and then we'll look at how Lester could impact the NL Central and NL Wild Card races.

The playoff odds and projections come from the top three ...

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