The Pirates have been able to win despite playing against very good teams every single day. May should bring a sigh of relief for fans of the Pirates however, as the next 17 games will be played against teams that are below .500, and ten of them will be at PNC Park, home of the Pirates.
Starting with the New York Mets tonight, the Pirates will also play two series against the Milwaukee Brewers, a series against the Houston Astros and a series against the Chicago Cubs. Hopefully, the Pirates will be able to solve the Brewers this time around, because they haven’t had success against them in recent years.
The Pirates have been having success early in the season because of their bullpen. Mark Melancon has pitched 17 innings so far, allowing just one run (0.53 ERA) on 10 hits and zero walks. He also has 17 strikeouts. The Pirates closer, Jason Grilli, has been successful in all 13 games he has been given the chance to save. In 14 innings, Grilli has struck out 23 batters and allowed only 11 base-runners (seven hits, four walks).
If I had to predict how these next 17 games will go, I would say the Pirates will go 10-7. I hope they go 17-0, but that’s unlikely.
My series predictions: at Mets (four games), 3-1; vs Brewers (four games), 2-2; vs Astros (three games), 2-1; vs Cubs (three games), 2-1; at Brewers (three games), 1-2.
I hate seeing the Brewers on the schedule, but I think with games against the Astros and Cubs, the Pirates will be able to make this a solid 17-game stretch.