Can The Pirates Still Make To The Playoffs 2023?

The odds of the Pirates making it to the playoffs are extremely slim, with a less than 1% chance.

They are nearly on the brink of not participating in the playoffs this season, with a 99% probability of missing out.

Currently, the Pittsburgh Pirates rank fourth in the National League Central Division, having secured 66 victories and suffered 77 defeats.

Their success rate for this season stands at .462. The Brewers and the Cubs are fiercely competing for the top spot in the NL Central Division, with the Reds hot on their heels.

Founded in 1882, the Pittsburgh Pirates, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are one of the Major League Baseball’s most seasoned teams.

Over their illustrious history, they have clinched five World Series titles, which are some of their most noteworthy achievements.

However, in recent times, they have struggled to qualify for the playoffs and perform at the highest level in the National League.

Since 2001, the Pirates have been hosting their home games at the PNC Park. This spectacular stadium, located on the shores of the Allegheny River, is renowned for offering stunning vistas of the Pittsburgh cityscape.

Are The Pirates Out Of The Playoffs 2023?

The probability of the Pirates entering the playoffs is less than 1%, making it highly unlikely for them to participate in the postseason this year.

The Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off the 2023 season with a solid victory over the Cincinnati Reds on March 31, 2023.

The Pirates
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Despite this strong start, they were defeated in the following two matches by the Reds, with scores of 6-2 and 3-1.

They managed to secure victories in all three subsequent matches against the Boston Red Sox, after a series of mixed outcomes against the Reds.

This season, the Pirates participated in 71 matches at home, out of which they emerged victorious in 34.

On the road, they managed to win only 32 out of 72 matches. This subpar performance, resulting in a winning percentage below .500 both at home and away, has placed the Pirates in the fourth spot in their Division.

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This also diminishes their odds of securing a spot in the playoffs via a wildcard.

Currently, the Pirates are nearly eliminated from the playoff contention, as their chances of winning the division or securing a wildcard spot are extremely slim.

They lag by 13.5 games in the Divisional series and are 8.5 games behind in the Wild Card race. Only 19 games remain out of the 162 Major League Baseball (MLB) matches scheduled for this season.

Out of the remaining 19 matches, 10 will be played at their home ground, the PNC Park, where they will host the Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, and Miami Marlins.

The remaining 9 matches will be away games, held at Wrigley Field, Citizens Bank Park, and the Great American Park.

While the outcome of these matches is unlikely to impact the Pirates’ playoff prospects, as they are virtually eliminated, it could significantly affect other teams. For examp

le, the Cubs, Phillies, and Miami Marlins still have a reasonable chance of securing a playoff spot through wildcards. Therefore, their upcoming matches against the Pirates are of utmost importance to them.

The Pirates Magic Number 2023

In 2023, the Pittsburgh Pirates need 34 more victories to win the National League Central Division, but it seems very unlikely because the Brewers, who are currently leading, only need 17 more wins.

the Pirates
the Pirates

Moreover, the Pirates are only 13 losses away from being eliminated, whereas the Division leaders have a buffer of 28 losses before they face elimination.

A lower magic number indicates a better chance of winning the league, while a higher elimination number indicates a lesser chance of being ousted from the competition.

Below are the magic numbers for the teams in the National League Central Division:

  • Milwaukee Brewers have a magic number 17.
  • Chicago Cubs have a magic number 23.
  • Cincinnati Reds have a magic number 26.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates have a magic number 34.
  • St. Louis Cardinals have a magic number 37.
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The Brewers are highly likely to lead the division standings with a 98.6% chance of making it to the playoffs.

On the other hand, the Cubs also have a chance to top the division with a 19.6% probability, or they could secure a playoff spot by winning a wildcard, for which they have a 65.8% chance.

The Reds are similarly optimistic about making it to the playoffs, with a 14.5% probability.

In contrast, despite the Pittsburgh Pirates’ magic number being 34 and the remaining games suggesting that they are not technically eliminated from the playoffs, realistically, they don’t stand a chance. The St Louis Cardinals are in the same boat.

FanGraphs has ranked the Pirates in the 10th position for a wildcard in the National League, with absolutely no chance of making it through any route.

The Phillies, Cubs, and Diamondbacks are currently the top contenders for a National League wildcard, with respective chances of 96.5%, 65.8%, and 41.7%.

Last Time Pirates Made Playoffs 2023

The Pirates last reached the playoffs in the 2015 season, securing a wild card spot alongside the Cubs from the National League Central Division.

In the 2015 playoffs, the Pirates were defeated by the Chicago Cubs with a score of 0-4 in the National Wildcard.

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This defeat on October 7, 2015, marked a period of struggle for the Pirates, as they were unable to qualify for the playoffs in the following seven Major League Baseball seasons.

In 2015, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a commendable regular-season record of 98-64, with 53-28 at home and 45-36 on the road. Including the postseason, their overall record stood at 98-65.

Over their 137-year history in the MLB, the Pirates managed to reach the playoffs 17 times. They have also participated in the World Series seven times, in 1903, 1909, 1925, 1927, 1960, 1971, and 1979.

Out of these appearances, they secured the World Series Trophies five times, unfortunately losing in 1903 and 1927.

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Below is a summary of the opponents when the Pirates secured victories in the World Series:

  • In 1909: Against Detriot Tigers First World Series Title of the Pirates and won with a 4-3 score.
  • In 1925: Against Washington Senators and won with a 4-3 score.
  • In 1960: Against New York Yankees and won with a 4-3 score.
  • In 1971: Against Baltimore Orioles and won with a 4-3 score.
  • In 1979: Against Baltimore Orioles and won with a 4-3 score.

It’s purely incidental that every one of the five World Series titles clinched by the Pirates ended with a 4-3 scoreline.

The Pirates secured consecutive National League titles from 1970 to 1972, yet only triumphed in the World Series once, in 1971.

In the early 1990s, the Pirates, led by superstar Barry Bonds, reached the National League Championship Series (NLCS) consecutively from 1990 to 1992, but did not clinch a World Series victory.

Following this, the Pirates experienced a lengthy playoff drought from 1993 to 2012, missing out on playoff qualification for two decades, a record in North American professional sports.

The Pirates finally tasted victory in the playoffs against the Cincinnati Reds on October 1, 2013, with a 6-2 win in the NL Wild Card Series.

Unfortunately, they were later bested by the St. Louis Cardinals 2-3 in the NL Divisional Series, which took place from October 3 to October 9, 2013.

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This loss meant they missed the chance to compete in the World Series finals for the first time in 34 years.

The Pirates had a disappointing run in the 2022 season, not managing to secure a spot in the playoffs.

Out of a total of 162 games, they only managed to secure victories in 62, which translates to a subpar win rate of 38.3%.

Consequently, they found themselves in the fourth position on the leaderboard, which unfortunately, did not qualify them for the wild card, given their underwhelming performance throughout the year.

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