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That's right, the Pirates, who have had losing record each of the last 20 years will win the NL Central. At the halfway point of the season last year, the Pirates were leading the division. Though in the second half, they totally collapsed and fell 24 games back at season's end, that experience of having some taste of first place will propel them to the division tittle.
Pitching may not be the strong suit of the Pirates, but the young talent that they have will reign over inexperience. Of the starting five, only one is over 30 years old. The rest are 27, 28 and 29 year olds. Relatively young for pitchers.
As for offensive, it's the same way, very young talent! Young talent Andrew McCutchen is one of the top youngest players in the major leagues. The Pirates were near the middle of the pack when it came to offensive performance, but look for 2012 to be a breakout year for these young players.
Winning the NL Central however will be no easy task however, having to face the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals, who both were in the NLCS last year. But how will St. Louis react to winning the World Series after losing the star in Albert Pujols?
And with Ryan Braun likely to be out for the beginning part of the season and rumors from USA Today that Prince Fielder may go to the Washington Nationals, how will Milwaukee handle everything?
This division will not be a run-away winner for the Pirates, but look for them to win in the final days of the regular season.