Phillies Opposition Roadblock: Pittsburgh Pirates

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May 18, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Maikel Franco (7) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
May 18, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Maikel Franco (7) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 18, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Chris Stewart (19) and right fielder Danny Ortiz (69) celebrate after both players scored runs against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 18, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Chris Stewart (19) and right fielder Danny Ortiz (69) celebrate after both players scored runs against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates are next on the docket. The Buccos are sitting with an 18-23 record, which puts them in place, five games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place. They have lost six of their last ten and are hoping the Phillies come into Pittsburgh, ready to continue their downward spiral.

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A closer look at the Pirates tells us their offense has been a major part of this year’s early season struggles. They are currently ranked 28th in all of baseball in runs scored with 148 runs. Their team offensive slash line of .224/.306/.367 ranks them 29th/24th/28th in all of baseball. If there were ever a time for the pitching that has struggled for the Phillies to get on track, this would be the series.

The Pirate pitching staff has been pretty good ranking in the middle of baseball in team ERA (4.16) and near the top of the stack in walks allowed (121). They do not allow a ton of homers either, so the Phils will have to find runs in other ways. They have only struck out 296 batters in about 355 innings as well. All of this seems as though it would be a nice remedy to get the Phillies on track.

But…it is very difficult to predict whether or not the Phillies can break out of their funk right now.

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