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The Pirates: How Bad?

Via Primer, here's something to think about:

Among the statistical devices Red Sox management has at its disposal is a program that simulates a major league season. One thing the Sox brass has done: place American League teams as presently composed in the National League and simulate a 162-game season. The club's conclusion: There is a 10-game difference (which is considered gigantic) between leagues. In other words: An AL team that projects to win 85 games in the AL this season projects to win 95 in the NL, according to general manager Theo Epstein.

Whew. Think about that with regard to the awful Royals series this week.

Until I thought about the Red Sox's simulations, I figured the Pirates were probably a somewhat better team than their record. After all, if you adjust their record to runs scored and runs allowed, they're more like a 33-win team than a 26-win team. But they're scoring and allowing more runs than their other indicators (hits, extra base hits, walks, etc.) suggest, and if the NL really is that much weaker than the AL, the Pirates really might be the worst team in baseball.

I realize you didn't need me to tell you that right now, but still, comparing the two leagues makes the Pirates look even more depressing.