Pittsburgh Pirates Presented with Good Opportunity to Reach .500

Troy PfaffContributor IMay 2, 2011

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - APRIL 21:  James McDonald #53  of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during a game against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on April 21, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It's no secret that the Pittsburgh Pirates, who currently own a 13-15 record—including 9-7 on the road—aren't gunning for a World Series title this season. In fact, I believe the team would be nearly ecstatic with yet another playoff-less season, as long as at least 81 wins and a .500 winning percentage are involved.

While 81 wins may be a bit of a stretch this season, the team currently has a great chance to be at the .500 mark in May, which would be a moral victory in itself.

Tonight, the Pirates kicked off a three-game road series with the San Diego Padres (11-17, 4-11 at home, last in NL West). The probable pitching match-ups are Jeff Karstens (2-1, 3.57 ERA) vs. Mat Latos (0-4, 4.98) for Tuesday and Kevin Correia (4-2, 2.90) vs. Clayton Richard (1-2, 3.82) on Wednesday.

The Padres are currently last in the major leagues in team batting average and slugging percentage, 28th in team OBP, and 29th in home runs.

Needless to say, the Pirates need to take advantage of this series.

After the Padres series, the Bucs get a day off before playing host to the Houston Astros at PNC Park for three games.

Like the Padres, the Astros are currently 11-17, and owners of a 4-8 road record. Unlike the Padres, the Astros sit third in the National League in batting average and are ranked in the top ten in OBP and slugging percentage.

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