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Will Pirates Fade in the Second Half in N.L.Central?

pirates-wrFor the past two seasons, the Pittsburgh Pirates have looked like they are about to have their first winning season since 1992. Then, there is the second half.

In 2011, the Pirates were 47-43 at the break. On this date one year ago, the Pirates were 32-27 and tied for first place in the division. In 2011, the Pirates finished 72-90 in fourth place, 24 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2012, the Pirates finished 79-83, 18 games behind the first place Cincinnati Reds.

Today, the Pirates are 37-26, four games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals and a half game behind the second place Reds. Will the Pirates fade again in the second half?

Let’s see what the sports books have to say.

Bovada has the Pirates at 12/1 to win the N. L. Pennant. That puts them about in the middle of the pack in the National League. The Cardinals are tied with the Atlanta Braves as the favorites at 7/2. The Reds are third at 11/2. The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants are tied for  fourth at 13/2 with the Washington Nationals. The Arizona Diamondbacks are next at 17/2, then come the Pirates.

JustBet has the Pirates at +850, which is 8.5/1 if you are on Bovada. So they seem to like the Pirates chances a bit more. Of course, if you are going to place a wager on the Bucs to make the World Series, you’d go to Bovada so you can win $1200 on a $100 bet instead of $850. JustBet has the Pirates and Giants both at +850. The Diamondbacks are +800. They too have the Cardinals, Braves and Reds as the top three. The Nationals are fourth at +600.  So the D-Backs would be the cutoff for making the playoffs.

Considering only five teams from the National League will make the postseason, it looks like the odds-makers don’t particularly like the Pirates chances of getting in. But looking at the odds, they don’t seem to dislike them all that much either. Perhaps the third time is the charm for the Pirates? They are now a couple of years older and more experienced now. Also consider that even though they folded again a year ago, they still improved by seven games over 2011. If they do that again, they would end up with 86 wins.

That still likely won’t be enough to get them to the playoffs. But it will keep them in contention. So maybe with a lucky break here and there, 86 wins could become 90 wins and that could get them in as a Wild Card team. Wild Card teams have been known to get hot in the postseason and end up winning it all.

With that in mind, a wager on Bovada on Pittsburgh might not be a bad idea.


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