MLB Battle of Pennsylvania: 5 Reasons It Will Matter in 2012

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MLB Battle of Pennsylvania: 5 Reasons It Will Matter in 2012
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates has not been an important matchup in a long time. Some young fans of the Buccos have never seen a winning season. 

The Pirates have five World Series titles to the Phillies' two. To say that there is a rivalry between these two teams would be false. For now. 

Right now, the numbers say that it will matter.

Both teams are putting up eerily similar numbers. The Phillies are supposed to be the favorites to win the NL East, while the Pirates are supposed to be one of the worst teams in the entire National League. 

The Phillies, in all of ESPN's regular-season rankings, are mostly in the 20s (runs 28th, 15th batting average, 27th on-base percentage and 24th in slugging percentage).

In comparison, the Pirates are in last in all of those rankings. The number 30 nearly streaks across the screen (with their 29th-ranked batting average being the only stat that keeps them out of the cellar).

With all of these numbers being close, it could mean something big down the road for the Phillies. Strangely enough, the Pirates do not have the worst record in baseball. That shameful spot belongs to the 3-14 Kansas City Royals

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