The Pittsburgh Pirates Must Sweep 2 Game Twin Series

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates will have a short two-game series against the Minnesota Twins.  The team should and needs to sweep the Twins.

Currently, the Pittsburgh Pirates are five games out of the second Wild Card spot.  They have seemed to be stuck there for the last two weeks.  After going on an 11 game winning streak, the team has recorded just a 5-5 record in their last 10 games.  It is hard for them to make up ground with playing just .500 baseball.

This was seen this past weekend against the San Fransisco Giants.  The Pirates should have taken three out of the four games, and easily could have swept the series with a few less on field mistakes.  Instead, they split it.

Part of split should be blamed on management and the coaching staff.  The team used a spot starter to get extra rest for the rotation, which is fine.  However, Casey Sadler had no business being out there for as long as he was and the Bucs wasted a 10 run game.  With that being said, the Pittsburgh Pirates were only able to split the four game series with a team that is behind them in the standings.

However, the Pirates have a chance to make up some ground over the next two days.  The Bucs will be playing the Minnesota Twins at Target Field tonight and Wednesday night.  The Twins have also been 5-5 in their last 10 games.  Even with that, they are a much poorer team than the Pirates.

Minnesota is currently nune games under .500 with a record of 54-63.  Also, they are 16 games out of the second Wild Card spot and 12.5 games out of the AL Central.  So really they are not playing meaningful baseball like the Pirates.

Twins Are a Different Looking Team

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The biggest thing, however, is that the Twins have already punted on their season.  The team was sellers at this year’s trade deadline, selling off some key pieces of their team.  The biggest names to come off of their roster came from their batting lineup.  Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar represented two of their top offensive players.  Dozier had 16 home runs with the Twins before he was traded to the Dodgers.  Meanwhile, Eduardo Escobar had 15 home runs and a .852 OPS during his time in Minnesota.  Also, the team parted with starter Lance Lynn and closer Fernando Rodney.

Pitching Matchup Favors the Pirates

So essentially the Twins parted with four veteran players who were primary parts of their team.  However, this is not the only reason why the Pittsburgh Pirates should sweep this series.

As mentioned earlier, the Bucs used a spot starter Friday night.  This allowed for the Pirates’ two top pitchers to be lined up for this series. Tonight, Jameson Taillon takes the ball and he has an earned run average of 2.96 since June.  Then tomorrow goes Chris Archer, who looked way more comfortable in his last start against the Rockies.  Hopefully, he comes out with the same, calmer demeanor as he did in Colorado.

Tonight the Bucs have Jake Odorizzi going against them.  Odorizzi has a 4.50 ERA and only lasted 4.1 innings while giving up three runs against the Pirates earlier this year.  Tomorrow the Bucs will see the Twins ace in Jose Berrios.  However,  his ERA is almost 5.00 so far in the month of August, and over 4.00 since the beginning of July.  So the Pirates’ offense might be getting Berrios at the right time.

Next. Pirates Make Another Trade. dark

Everything is lining up well for the Pittsburgh Pirates this series.  The Twins are playing poor baseball, have traded a lot of their key players, and are not playing meaningful games at this point.  Also, the Pirates have their top two pitchers going while the Twins have two pitchers who have been struggling of late.  The Pittsburgh Pirates need to take advantage and sweep this two-game series.

*All Stats are Courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference