In its recent projected standings for 2022, FanGraphs projected the Pittsburgh Pirates to finish at the bottom of the barrel but with some improvement in the upcoming season.
At 68-94, the Pirates are tabbed to have the third worst record in baseball, finishing ahead of the Colorado Rockies (66-96) and Baltimore Orioles (64-98) with a 0.3 percent chance at making the playoffs.
FanGraphs released its 2022 projected standings. What do you guys think? pic.twitter.com/VGyZ92eEiI— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) February 6, 2022
Ranking above them in the NL Central are the Chicago Cubs at No. 4 with a 76-86 record; followed by the Cincinnati Reds (80-82) at No. 3; the Milwaukee Brewers (88-74) are picked to finish second; and the St. Louis Cardinals are tabbed to win the division at 89-73.
Meg Rowley, the managing editor at FanGraphs, said in a tweet that these are not the official projected standings, as those include Steamer and depth charts for playing time, but these are rather “mid-lockout ZiPS projections,” written by Dan Szymborski, which she said are “fun to think about.”
Just to clarify, we didn't release official projected standings. Dan Szymborski released some mid-lockout ZiPS projections. Those are fun think about, but our official projections also incorporate Steamer and use our Depth Charts for playing time.— Meg Rowley (@megrowler) February 6, 2022
Szymborski touched on the Pirates in his article, and said that they don’t have much going for them besides Bryan Reynolds and Ke’Bryan Hayes, but they “avoid the ignominy of a playoff probability that rounds to zero,” so that’s good... I guess?
Considering the Pirates finished with more than 100 losses last season, and that 2022 was viewed as another year of mixing and matching combinations for a potential push at competition in 2023, hearing that FanGraphs thinks the Pirates — let alone any team — will finish with a better record should be seen as a good thing by fans.