Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates state case for being surprise team of 2018

The Pittsburgh Pirates have surprised the baseball world after trading their best players in the offseason.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have shocked us all over the first week of the MLB season. They have a deep lineup that scores runs consistently, and a solid pitching staff that could help them maintain their current pace as the season progresses.

Pirates fans weren’t happy when the club dealt off Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, but their intriguing start might lead some to reassess those moves. Many thought the club got fleeced in the Cole deal, but it doesn’t seem that way now.

Pittsburgh’s headline acquisition in that trade was third baseman Colin Moran, an expendable piece for the Astros. Moran has done well so far, batting .318 with a homer and eight RBIs in just 23 plate appearances.

Another new member is outfielder Corey Dickerson, who was DFA’d by the Tampa Bay Rays. He was an All-Star in 2017, and the Bucs got him for close to nothing. The left handed slugger adds significant power to the lineup, and has hit .320 with four RBIs so far.

The club has the third best offense in MLB so far in 2018. Pittsburgh has had 28 XBH in 248 at-bats, and has 44 RBIs. That’s been the key to success in the early going. The club will have plenty of slugging matches with the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs, that’s for sure.

On the mound, righty Trevor Williams has pitched well to start the season. In his two starts, he’s tossed a 1.59 ERA in 11.1 innings of work. He’s doing a great job in mixing up his pitches and commanding the fastball. Also, closer Felipe Rivero has three saves already. He has electric stuff and looks like he’ll be better than former Bucs closer Mark Melancon.

The Pirates young stud arms, Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon, will have to get going soon. Their ceilings are extremely high, and they could be a dominant one-two punch. The team has a mix of youth and veterans, which is usually the formula for success. It’s an exciting bunch that could be good for years to come. Their depth at the plate and high potential pen of arms makes this team a surprise contender for 2018.

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