Odds are, Bucs are in middle of road for ’13 World Series
The people who handicap baseball pennant races (among other things) do not seem to be as down on the Pirates’ prospects as much of the media and some of the more pessimistic fans.
An online site has listed the odds on the Bucs winning the 2013 World Series at 30-1. And that is a far cry from just making the playoffs, of course.
Hardly definitive — not to mention premature, considering the entire offseason of rosters changes is still ahead of us — but, for comparative purposes, at least interesting.
Among the 30 Major League clubs, the Pirates are No. 19 — sandwiched between a White Sox team that led the AL Central for much of last season and the Blue Jays, Among the other teams considered longer shots than the Bucs are the huge-market Mets and the Padres, who will be coming off one of the hotter closing kicks in the NL.
On what basis could experts like the direction of the Bucs? Well, back-to-back second-half collapses notwithstanding, you can’t ignore that they’ve improved each of the last two seasons, from 57 wins in 2010 to 79 in 2012.
Only two teams, one in each league, have done better than that composite spike of 22 wins — not surprisingly, the Nationals (plus-29) and the Orioles (plus-27). And only four others have also shown improvement each of the last two seasons: the Mariners (plus-14), the Angels (9), the Dodgers (6) and the Royals (5).
Obviously, no team has had as much room for improvement. The Bucs’ 57 wins in 2010 were four fewer than anyone else’s (Mariners). Still, progress is progress.