Re: Like I said about the Pirates
As a big Pirates' fan, I'm cautiously optimistic. Things will certainly regress, and I suspect we'll see that in the Bucs bullpen. But, I'm hopeful that that is offset by a couple of things. First, we hopefully will be getting some pitching help back soon. A.J. Burnett should be getting healthy soon. Wandy Rodriguez had a setback, but the Pirates are optimistic that he will pitch again this year.
Second, I think we'll see some improvement from the offense. Andrew McCutchen is having a good year, but it is not a great year. He is fully capable of hitting about .385 with ten homers in a month and carrying the team. He has yet to do that this year. He carried the team last year, and when he hit a wall in August and September, the team fell off as well. I think we'll see a better second half from Cutch than we've seen before, and a better second half than first half this year. I also think Neil Walker could improve some. Right field, and as the article said, the pitchers hitting, can't get much worse, whether that is from improvement from Travis Snider and Garret Jones or a trade for someone like Alex Rios.
Finally, I've seen enough growth from Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte this year to think that they will help down the stretch as well.
I don't think the Pirates will win 100 games. I really don't think they'll win the division. But, I'm confident they will finish over .500 and stay in contention through September this year.