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Series Preview: Pirates vs Cardinals

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Kansas City Royals Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates have lost eight straight games. Over that span, they’ve been outscored 47-14. It’s almost funny. Almost.

On the season, the Pirates are 14-34. Their winning percentage of .292 is still higher than some players on this team’s OPS. Okay, that’s not true. But you thought it might be (Jason Martin has a .222 OPS in nine plate appearances so that doesn’t count).

Luckily, the Pirates are currently in line to receive the number one pick in next year’s draft. That is unless Commission Rob Manfred pulls out some wacky new draft lottery rule that would ultimately rescind that pick away from the Pirates. At this point, how this league is run, nothing would surprise me.

Anyways, the Pirates have 12 games remaining on their schedule. Tonight, they start a five-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. This series includes a 7-inning doubleheader tomorrow. The Cardinals (22-23) desperately need to rack up these wins. They are currently third in the NL Central and are on the outside looking in for a playoff spot. They are 4-6 in their last ten games.

Oh, how joyful it would be if the Pirates could help spoil their season.

If you need one reason to watch the Pirates, and I can only give one, it would be to watch rookie third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes. Hayes has been a hard hit machine (65.6 percent) since his call up and has hit .304/.360/.565 in 50 plate appearances. He has two home runs, two triples, and two doubles on the year. His bat paired with elite defense and exuberant base running skills have made him a joy to watch.

Mitch Keller, who pitches on Saturday, is also an intriguing reason to watch.

Pitching matchups

Thursday 7:05: Steven Brault (0-3, 5.06) vs Dakota Hudson (3-2, 2.92)

Friday 4:05: Trevor Williams (1-7, 6.35) vs Carlos Martinez (0-2, 10.32)

Friday 7:05: Chad Kuhl (1-2, 5.50) vs TBA

Saturday 7:05: Mitch Keller (1-1, 5.06) vs Kwang-Hyun Kim (2-0, 0.63)

Sunday 4:05: Joe Musgrove (0-5, 5.74) vs Jack Flaherty (3-2, 5.52)