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Pirates Playoff Chances Double Amidst Hot Start to Season

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Pittsburgh Pirates

Prior to the start of the 2024 regular season, the chances of the Pittsburgh Pirates reaching the postseason for the first time since 2015 seemed slim.

Ahead of their season opener against the Miami Marlins last Thursday, Fangraphs gave the Pirates a 16.2% chance of making the playoffs and a 8.8% chance to win the National League Central. Both marks were lowest in the division.

Fast forward a few days, and the Pirates are off to their best start in over four decades with a perfect 5-0 start.

Five games is hardly a drop in the bucket over the course of a 162-game season. Even last year’s 20-9  start through April didn’t mean much in the end. Last season, the Pirates finished 76-86 and missed out on a Wild Card spot by eight games.

Still, while Fangraphs still feels that it’s more likely than not that the Pirates are on the outside looking in come October, the odds are looking much better for Pittsburgh.

At 5-0, the Pirates’ playoff chances have doubled to 32.7%. Their chances of winning the division have jumped up 10 points to 18.5%. Both percentages have jumped the Cincinnati Reds (3-1) for fourth place in the division.

The St. Louis Cardinals (2-3) lead the way with a 40.4% chance to make the playoffs and a 24.3% chance to win the division. They’re followed by the Chicago Cubs (2-2) with a 36.5% playoff chance and a 20.9% at the division title. The Reds have a 28.5% chance to reach the playoffs and a 15.3% chance for the division.

Fangraphs has low expectations for the division as a whole. They have the Cardinals winning the division despite being projected to go 82-80. The Pirates’ final win-loss tally is not far behind at 78-84.

Perhaps the most encouraging news of all, the Pirates chance to win the World Series has doubled!… to 0.8%.

Hey, progress is progress.

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