Phillies-Pirates: Five things to watch for this weekend

Sep 12, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 12, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow reacts in the dugout after being pulled from the game in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow reacts in the dugout after being pulled from the game in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Philadelphia can take full advantage of a bad team

As mentioned earlier, the Pirates year has been sunk just 40 games into the 2017 season.

Sep 4, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates fan Noelle Sheafler (1 year old) reacts as the Pirates lose their sixth consecutive game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park. The Brewers won 10-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates fan Noelle Sheafler (1 year old) reacts as the Pirates lose their sixth consecutive game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park. The Brewers won 10-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Between Jung Ho Kang being arrested for DUI, Starling Marte suspended for PEDs, Andrew McCutchen trade rumors, and both Gregory Polanco and Gerrit Cole on the DL this team smells worse than, well, a pirate.

This could be a messy series based on how rough the cross-state rivals have played this year. Both stand on a sinking ship with little ability to bail themselves out.

Pittsburgh will send Ivan Nova, Trevor Williams, and Chad Kuhl out as their projected starters, none of which has a winning record this year.

Nothing will be guaranteed in this series, especially with two sub-.500 teams competing. I do expect the Phillies to take the first game with Jeremy Hellickson on the mound based on his aforementioned success against Pirates hitters. Vince Velasquez is a crap shoot at times with his pitch count, and Sunday will be our first look at Aaron Nola in a month.

Next: Phillies Power Ranking: 10 players most likely to be traded

First pitch from Pittsburgh on Friday is slated to be at 7:05 with Hellickson versus Williams.

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