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Pirates’ 2021 Win Total Set at 58.5 – See the Five Lowest O/Us

Paul Attfield

by Paul Attfield in MLB Baseball

Feb 22, 2021 · 8:45 PM PST

Pittsburgh Pirates' Adam Frazier trots home after hitting a solo home run
Pittsburgh Pirates' Adam Frazier trots home after hitting a solo home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills during the third inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, in this Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, file photo. Frazier spent the offseason watching his good friends in the Pittsburgh Pirates clubhouse move on. While the second baseman is well aware he may be next, he's trying to focus on improving on a 2020 in which he was a Gold Glove finalist. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
  • After going an MLB-low 19-41 in 2020, Pittsburgh Pirates favored to post the fewest wins in baseball once again
  • Following the trade of all-star third baseman Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies are also in the conversation, along with Baltimore, Texas and Detroit
  • Read on for an in-depth look and a best bet for the lowest win total over/under for the 2021 MLB season 

If a minimum of 50 wins can be considered the benchmark between simply a bad season and a historically woeful one, then it doesn’t look like there will be any repeats of the 47-win 2018 Baltimore Orioles or 2019 Detroit Tigers in 2021, let alone the 20-win Cleveland Spiders of 1899.

However, after just 19 wins in a pandemic-shortened 60-game season, the Pittsburgh Pirates are favored to be at the bottom of the MLB barrel once again this year, with the team’s average over/under being pegged at just 58.5 games in the opening MLB win totals.

On the bright side, that is still considerably better than the 47 games won by either the Orioles or Tigers a few years back, two teams that are also predicted to be down in the mire once again.

Lowest 2021 MLB Win Totals

Team Average Win Total
Detroit Tigers 67.0
Texas Rangers 67.0
Baltimore Orioles 64.0
Colorado Rockies 63.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 58.5

Win totals above are the average across online sportsbooks as of Feb. 22, 2021.

Doubts In Detroit

Even forgetting the anomaly of last season’s 60-game sprint, the Detroit Tigers have been the worst club of the above five in the three seasons between 2017-19. In each of those years, they posted an average of just 58.33 wins per season. The Tigers have fallen a long way in the nine years since Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer pitched them to a second World Series appearance in six years.

Detroit’s 47-win campaign in 2019 was the second-worst season in team history, marginally behind the 43 wins posted by the 2003 club. Ron Gardenhire, the skipper who led the club the past three years, has retired, making way for A.J. Hinch.

The World Series-winning manager of the Houston Astros has a lot of work in front of him, but there is hope on the horizon. Breakout seasons from Willi Castro and Jeimer Candelario injected some life into the squad, which also has a generational slugging talent on the way in the shape of No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson.

But for a team that has posted a winning percentage of .395, .395, .290 and .383 each of the last four seasons, to reach .413 or higher, which is what 67 wins translates to, might be a bit of a stretch.

Rock Bottom?

Losing a player who averaged over 124.2 RBI in the five full seasons before last season’s pandemic-shortened affair would be hard for almost any team in the majors. For the Colorado Rockies, who are never about to be confused with the Yankees, Dodgers or even the Cardinals – Arenado’s new home – it has a seismic impact.

Irrespective of the effect on the box score, the trade left players and fans wondering exactly what the plan in Colorado is. In particular there is the question of winning, and whether there will be any? Three seasons ago, the Rockies were a playoff team with all-stars such as Arenado, DJ LeMahieu, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon. Now just the latter pair remain, and Story is a free agent at year’s end.

The bright spot for the Rockies is the team’s youthful rotation, headed by the likes of German Marquez and Kyle Freeland. But it didn’t fare well last year, with a 5.59 ERA the worst in the NL.

Walking the Plank

The Pirates may have a very good team … at some point in the years to come. That comes with the territory when you trade a trio of Josh Bell, Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon for a pool of 11 prospects. Of course, it doesn’t help that the team was already the worst in baseball with a 19-41 record.

The recent arrival of Tyler Anderson should give the rotation some much-needed veteran presence after the losses of the winter. However, he will have to go above and beyond his 4.37 career ERA mark for the team to not see a sizeable drop-off in last year’s team mark of 4.74.

The hope will be that the rotation and bullpen are serviceable, and young players like Ke’Bryan Hayes take a massive step forward in their development.

Best of the Worst

Look for the Tigers to continue to disappoint fans, even if they are allowed back into Comerica Park at some point in 2021.

Pick: Detroit (under 67.0)

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