Opportunity is knocking this week
Next up for the Pirates is a three-game series at PNC Park against the lowly Oakland A's. So far this season the A's have not only been by far the worst team in baseball, they are on pace to be one of the worst teams in MLB history.
You almost never go into a series with the mindset of looking for a sweep. However, when you're competing for first place in your division and prepping to host one of the worst teams in MLB history, it's not wrong to think sweep.
Additionally, the Milwaukee Brewers play the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. The Pirates are currently sandwiched between the two in the NL Central standinds, so with a win on Monday they are guaranteed to either make up ground on Milwaukee or extended their lead over Cincinnati.
Following the final game of their series agaisnt the Reds on Monday, the Brewers will begin a series against the Baltimore Orioles. With the O's owning the second best record in baseball, one would think this week provides an excellent opportunity for the Pirates to pull even with or potentially surpass the Brewers in the NL Central standings.
As for those Cardinals that the Pirates just took two of three from, they will head to Arlington for a series against one of the best teams in basbeall in the Texas Rangers. This could provide a good opportunity for the Pirates to pad their lead over the Red Birds.