This upcoming roadtrip may make or break the Pirates' 2024 season

It's time to Buc up.
New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages

After splitting a series to the New York Mets, the Pirates hit the road with one more trip before the All-Star Break. Their record currently sits at 43-47, and they are four games back of a Wild Card spot. Pittsburgh will play two separate three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox to end "first half" play (even though the Bucs passed the midpoint weeks ago).

To avoid falling further out of the race, the Pirates need to go into this six-game stretch with an urgency to win. The Pirates have struggled against the Brewers, and the White Sox have not been good at all this season despite a recent 5-5 stretch. Anything less than a half-ending sweep wouldn't be satisfactory.

The goal for the Pirates on this road trip is to get within two games of a .500 win percentage. To achieve this goal, Pittsburgh needs to win four of these next six games, which is completely feasible. If they can manage to do that, they will get closer in the Wild Card race, along with setting themselves up for a buying plan at the trade deadline.

Pirates Schedule: What can Pittsburgh do to be in position to win these games ahead of All-Star break?

The recurring theme of the Pirates season keeps coming back to the offense. If the starting pitching gets run support, the Pirates have a good opportunity to win. Getting the right guys in the lineup helps, too.

Since being called up, Josh Palacios has been an on-base machine, tallying three hits and five walks in just five games. One of those hits includes a solo home run, which came in the Pirates' 8-2 victory against the Mets. Palacios needs to play every day during this stretch of games.

Oneil Cruz also needs to play everyday, but his health remains the priority. On Monday, he was pinch-hit for in the eighth inning out of precaution for his “tightened hamstring.” Hopefully, the ding is just minor, because Cruz is on fire. In July, Cruz has a .333 batting average with two home runs and five runs batted in. He also has wRC+ of 189 and an OPS of 1.032. In dire need of offense, the Pirates cannot afford Jared Triolo getting the bulk of starts at shortstop over this six-game stretch.

Overall, the Pirates are very capable of going 4-2 over this next week. To do so, they need Palacios and Cruz to be in the lineup, as they have been hot. Let’s see if the Pirates can get something going, as their season depends on it.