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Brewers (4-5) @ Pirates (5-5) series preview

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The Pirates have only been one game better than the Brewers through nine games. Now it's the Brewers turn to face them.

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The Pirates are going to be really good again this year. So far in nine games they're only .500. But they won't keep that pace up for long. They're going to be competing head-to-head with the Cubs all year long for the division title. And there's very little chance they don't end up with at the very least a Wild Card spot. Gone are the days when the Brewers used the Pirates to pad their win record. And it's a real shame, because I hate the Pirates.

Okay, I don't actually hate the Pirates. They're just a baseball team. But as far as teams in the NL Central that I most dislike seeing have success, the Pirates have vastly surpassed the Cardinals and Cubs for me. The latter is because two of my best friends are Cubs fans so at least I can get enjoyment our of their enjoyment. The Cardinals are getting older though, and they're not that healthy. In turn, I don't expect them to be as dominant as they have in the best. So I don't really have that burning rage just under the surface when they come to town anymore.

The Pirates are still really good though. And they're young. And they have a pretty strong farm system, which means they'll only get better over the next few years. On top of that, I still haven't gotten over the Gerrit Cole/Carlos Gomez tiff. Gomez was still in the right and Cole was still a whiny man-child. Grr. Anyway, that's why I "hate" them.

Look at their lineup and try to find holes. It's not that easy. Jordy Mercer is their weakest bat, but at least he makes up for it with his solid defense from short. David Freese might be their only other "weak" bat. And even he has been right around league average for most of his career. If you're second worst bat is league average or slightly above, you're sitting pretty.

Starting Lineup
C: Francisco Cervelli
1B: John Jaso
2B: Josh Harrison
3B: David Freese
SS: Jordy Mercer
LF: Starling Marte
CF: Andrew McCutchen
RF: Gregory Polanco

Starting Rotation
Francisco Liriano (LHP)
Gerrit Cole
Jon Niese
Jeff Locke (LHP)
Juan Nicasio

High Leverage Relievers
Mark Melancon
Tony Watson
Neftali Feliz

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