2015 Season Predictions
While the Pirates have put together the best team in the division on paper, it will be a difficult task to repeat the success of the past two seasons. They are betting on some underrated players performing up to career standards, if not better.
And for the first time in years, they should have one of the league’s best offenses. But will they?
The answer is yes. Andrew McCutchen will raise his game in part because the surrounding lineup is improved. McCutchen may not have been the true MVP the last two seasons (it was Russell Martin), but he will be in 2015.
As a result, he will win his second MVP in three seasons. That will come as the result of the Pirates winning their first NL Central championship ever (prior to 1995 there was no National League Central division).
Gerrit Cole will become the ace of the Pirates staff, while Francisco Liriano will be one of the best No. 2 starters in baseball. And once the Pirates get to October, those two will dominate in their respective starts.
The Pirates will be able to scrap together enough runs in the postseason to win games. Yet, they will ultimately fall short of the World Series, mainly because the Washington Nationals are that much better.
Still, likely losing in a Game 7 of the NLCS should not be seen as a failure for this squad, especially given how far down this organization was even five years ago.