With the 2021 Major League Baseball regular season just around the corner, I want to make some predictions on the Pittsburgh Pirates for the upcoming season.
Spring Training is now in full swing. That means regular season baseball is now just around the corner. By the start of April, we’ll be well on our way to Major League Baseball. The Pittsburgh Pirates will start what will likely be a rough journey in 2021, but a necessary journey to get back into contention.
With regular season baseball so close, I want to make my pre season predictions on what I think the team’s record will be, their MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, breakout pitcher, breakout position player, their best position and worst position. So with that out of the way, let’s get into where I think the Pittsburgh Pirates will finish the season.
Final Record: 67-95
It would be really hard for the 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates to be as bad as the 2020 Pittsburgh Pirates. Last season, the Pirates finished with a .317 winning percentage in the shortened 2020 season. That comes out to a 51-111 record over the course of a 162 game season. If they were to do that during 2021, then they’d be historically one of the 20 worst teams ever and I don’t think the 2021 Pirates are that bad, even after trading Josh Bell, Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon.
One reason I believe the Pirates will end with a 67-95 record is that they’ll see many of their young players get playing time at the major league level. The Bucs will get a full season of Ke’Bryan Hayes, Mitch Keller and Bryan Renyolds. They may see prospects like Miguel Yajure, Cody Bolton, Wil Crowe and Jared Oliva lock down regular roles before the end of the season. They also have many young bullpen arms like Luis Oviedo, David Bednar, Nick Mears and Blake Cederlind who could be in high leverage roles before the end of 2021.
Another notable aspect to consider is they’ll also be in a very weak division. There’s no clear winner of the National League Central and it’s even possible that no team in the division wins more games than they lose. It’s not like the National League West where there are two juggernaut teams that can beat-up on the lower tier teams in their division consistently. This very well could be a repeat of the 2006 National League Central when the St. Louis Cardinals won the division with an 83-78 record. During that season, the Pirates had a 67-95 record.
Overall, the Pirates will be bad and likely get a top 5 draft pick, maybe even top 3. But I don’t think we’re looking at one of the 20 worst teams ever assembled in baseball history. Plus the weak division will help the Pirates sneak in a few wins here and they probably wouldn’t get if there was a clear winner of the division.