It might not be pretty.
After an offseason that sent away some of the team’s most recognizable names, expectations for the Pittsburgh Pirates are pretty low this season. PA sportsbook odds and their posted season win totals only reinforce that idea.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Pirates over/under for the upcoming season set at 59.5 wins. And that means oddsmakers expect that Pittsburgh might lose more than 100 games.
So the optimism that often washes over fans on Opening Day – which arrives on Thursday – might be a little lost in Pittsburgh. Beyond the team’s low win total, there are troubling trends with other futures bets too.
Pirates futures odds not so bright
DraftKings has the Pirates at +6500 (65-1) to win the Central Division even though there are only five total teams. The Cardinals (+105), Brewers (+300), Reds (+330), and Cubs (+425), have much more optimistic MLB odds, showing the gap that exists between Pittsburgh and some of its closest competition.
It gets even worse in the bigger picture. The Pirates are +10000 to win the National League and +25000 to win the World Series. So it’s pretty obvious that this season, which starts with a 2:20 p.m. game Thursday against the Cubs (who are -230 on the moneyline) is not supposed to be the Pirates year.
Pittsburgh is clearly building toward tomorrow. And until it arrives, the present may not be pretty.
Pirates third baseman is Rookie of the Year favorite
The best news for Pirates fans is that some of their young players provide legitimate hope for the future. In fact, third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes is the favorite at DraftKings to win the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award.
Hayes has odds of +325, followed by Marlins pitcher Sixto Sanchez (+500) and Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson (+700). Hayes is also on the board for the National League’s MVP Award at +10000, suggesting just how much Pittsburgh will be relying on their young third baseman this season.
A little farther down the Rookie of the Year list is another Pirates player, infielder ONeil Cruz, who doesn’t figure to make an impact until later in the season. Cruz is listed at 6-7 and 210 pounds and has some slugging potential to match that imposing size. His Rookie of the Year Odds are listed at +5000.
On the bright side for Pirates fans, you can still enjoy the start of baseball and take advantage of PA sports betting offers, including these from BetMGM Sportsbook.
- Home Run Boost: Opt-in and place a wager of at least $25 on any game on Opening Day (April 1). Get $1 in free bets for every home run hit on Opening Day.
- Bet $1 on any Opening Day game, get $100 in free bets regardless of the outcome of your bet.
Pittsburgh’s roster will look much different than last year
For Pirates fans, the mantra for this season might be a familiar one – wait ’til next year. After trading away some of the franchise’s familiar faces – Joe Musgrove, Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell – the team is left with a young core of players whose best days are likely ahead of them.
As the futures odds suggest, the Pirates are in the middle of a rebuild. There doesn’t seem to be enough pieces to contend this season. At the moment, DraftKings doesn’t even have futures pricing posted on Pittsburgh’s chances to make the playoffs. The odds simply seem too high.
So Pirates fans are probably best served by forgetting about wins and losses. Instead, perhaps they should focus on the young Pirates players and their incremental progress each day.
Maybe brighter days will be ahead.
But this season might not be pretty.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar