This article is part of a series previewing the starting rotations of all the teams in the Major Leagues. Click here, for other articles in this preview series. At Fansided’s Fantasy Baseball page, you can find a number of great resources to help you succeed in your league this season.
The Pirates finally returned to the postseason last year, and one of the main reasons was an excellent year from their starting rotation. In 2013, the Pirates rotation was fourth in the Major Leagues with a 3.50 ERA while going 64-48. Only the Cardinals, Braves, and Reds had more wins from their starters, and the Pirates starters held their opponents to a league-low .243 batting average.
The Pirates rotation won’t be the same this year, although that’s not saying they won’t be just as good. Last season, the Pirates’ leader in games started, quality starts, innings pitched, ERA, strikeouts, and K/9 among starters was A.J. Burnett who leaves a big hole atop the rotation as he takes his arm to Phily. To fill the gap, the Pirates will look internally since their biggest free agent starting pitcher acquisition was Edinson Volquez who has had a rough start to his Pittsburgh career this spring.
From a fantasy perspective, there are some nice options at the top of the Pittsburgh rotation and possibly some streaming options at the back half. Here are the projected starters for 2014 with their numbers from last season and their fantasy outlook for this year: