Mets Series Will Be Crucial For The Pittsburgh Pirates

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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A crucial four-game series is looming at PNC Park this weekend for the Pittsburgh Pirates

The hottest team in baseball is the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs are 13-2 in their last 15 games, and just had an 11 game winning streak snapped by the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday afternoon.

This hit stretch by the Bucs has improved the team to 53-50 on the season while putting the Bucs squarely in the postseason hunt. The Pirates will enter this weekend just 3.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the second National League Wild Card spot. Due to this, every series is important but this weekend’s series will absolutely crucial.

What makes this weekend’s series crucial for the Pittsburgh Pirates is their opponent – the New York Mets. The Mets enter this weekend with the second worst record in the National League and fifth worst in all of Major League Baseball.

This season the Mets have scored an NL low 384 runs. Their team .307 on-base percentage is the second worst in the senior circuit and their 23% strikeout rate is the fifth highest in the league. Needless to say, the Mets’ offense is bad.

While pitching is what the Mets are supposed to be known for, their pitching has struggled this season as well. Their team ERA (4.27) is 11th in the NL and they have allowed the second most home runs in the league.

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Things have been especially ugly for the Mets’ bullpen. The Mets rank 13th in the NL in bullpen ERA (4.72), their 10.3% walk rate is 11th in the NL, and their bullpen has allowed a whopping 55 home runs which is seven more than any other team in the NL.

To put it simply, the New York Mets are a terrible baseball team.

Not only do the Pirates get to play the Mets at home this weekend, it is a four-game series. Anything less than winning 3/4 would be a failure for the Bucs. The Pirates are in the postseason hunt and need to beat up on teams like the Mets.

The non-waiver trade deadline is on Tuesday. At just 3.5 games out of a Wild Card spot the Pirates are looking to buy and have been connected to pitchers such as Keone Kela and Sonny Gray. But none of that matters if the Pirates fail to take advantage against the lowly Mets this weekend.

With a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on deck this weekend, there is a good shot the Atlanta Braves will lose their series this weekend. This gives Clint Hurdle and the Pirates a great opportunity to beat up on the Mets and slash their deficit to the Braves by another game or two this weekend.