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Bucco Breakfast: Over/Under Time

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What ya got?

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year again, but with a twist. Vegas is starting to put out over/under bets for the upcoming MLB season. With sports betting now legal, here’s some food for thought on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ win total over/under bet.

Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas has put out over/under lines for win totals for each team during the 2019 MLB season. The Pittsburgh Pirates carry an interesting number:

The Pirates’ line is set at 78.5 wins — less than the Brewers, Cubs and Cardinals (as expected), but only 1.5 games better than the Reds.

At first blush, it’s a fair figure that takes into account the minor moves the club has made, the uncertainty around the shortstop position, and questions on Gregory Polanco’s availability. While most of the folks that replied to my tweet above thought the Pirates would best that total, there is a fair amount of skepticism as well. Let’s talk this out. Here are just a few reasons why the club may or may not hit that total. Let us know your reasons in the comments!

The Pirates will win more than 78 games IF....

  • They simply play to the level that they were capable of last season for longer stretches of time.
  • Polanco comes back in a reasonable time-frame
  • The fifth starter — presumably Jordan Lyles — and bullpen both hold up.
  • Pittsburgh gets more than expected from Jung Ho Kang.

The Pirates will not win more than 78 games IF....

  • Joe Musgrove regresses.
  • Corey Dickerson can’t eke out a bit more production.
  • Francisco Cervelli gets injured, forcing Elias Diaz into a full catching load, and it turns out he’s not up to the task.
  • The club leaves the shortstop position as-is, and a black hole ensues.
  • It takes too long for Polanco to get back to the player he became last season.

Again, these are just a few. What ya got?

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