Pittsburgh Pirates: 2015 Opening Day Roster And NL Central Division Predictions


The Pittsburgh Pirates commence their 128th season in the National League Monday when they take on the Reds at 4:10 p.m. ET in Cincinnati.

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The deadline was 3 p.m. Sunday for the Bucs to have the finishing touches to their 25-man roster in place. Barry Petchesky at Deadspin reports that the Pirates payroll should be approximately $88,278,500 this season. It would rank the Jolly Roger crew 25th overall in the majors.

According to the Associated Press, as reported on FoxBusiness.com, a record 508 players will earn $1 million or more this season. Major League Baseball’s median salary, the point where an equal number earn above and below, is $1.65 million, which is up from $1,475,000 in 2014.

The two highest salaries for the Bucs are reported to be starting pitcher Francisco Liriano at $11,666,666 and center fielder Andrew McCutchen at $10,208,333. Going into Monday’s opener at the Great American Ball Park in Cincy, the three lowest are listed as Arqimedes Caminero and Andrew Lambo at $515,500 and Rob Scahill at $500,000.

Let’s get back to the breakdown of the Opening Day roster – Starting Pitchers (5): RHP’s A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, and Vance Worley; LHP’s Liriano and Jeff Locke.

Relief Pitchers (7): LHP’s Antonio Bastardo and Tony Watson; RHP’s Jared Hughes, Radhames Liz, Mark Melancon, Caminero, and Scahill.

Catchers (2): Francisco Cervelli, Tony Sanchez

Infielders (6): Pedro Alvarez, Josh Harrison, Jung-Ho Kang, Jordy Mercer, Sean Rodriguez, Neil Walker

Outfielders (5): Corey Hart, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, McCutchen, and Lambo.

There were five players who were placed on the Disabled List: Right-handed pitchers Brandon Cumpton (Tommy John surgery) and Charlie Morton (recovering from labrum surgery); outfielder Jaff Decker (strained left calf); infielder Justin Sellers (sore left knee); and catcher Chris Stewart (strained right hamstring).

Time to check in with some of the experts around the internet to see how the National League Central Division is going to turn out this summer.

Michael Casey at CBSNews.com turned to Bruce Bukiet, the math professor and associate dean at New Jersey Institute of Technology, who uses mathematics to predict the final standings of the MLB season. Here is his call on the NL Central.

St. Louis Cardinals 92-70
Milwaukee Brewers 86-76
Pittsburgh Pirates 84-78
Cincinnati Reds 74-88
Chicago Cubs 73-89

The writers and researchers at Fangraphs.com examined the teams in the NL Central and broke down the wins and losses this way.

Cardinals 88-74
Pirates 85-77
Cubs 84-78
Brewers 79-83
Reds 75-87

Over at Bleacher Report, Joel Reuter crunched the numbers and sees the race in the NL Central going this way.

Cardinals 93-69
Pirates 89-73
Cubs 84-78
Reds 80-82
Brewers 74-88

Taking one last look at this year’s predictions, Seth Lassen at Rant Sports has our last review.

Cardinals 89-73
Pirates 88-74
Cubs 84-78
Brewers 73-89
Reds 71-91

Let me know your predictions for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their rivals in the National League Central in the comments section below.

Next: Pirates Vs. Reds GameDay TV, Odds, And Weather

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