Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/13/14
Buster Olney has been doing his top ten lists at ESPN, naming his top rotations, infields, outfields, and so on. The Pirates haven’t been on any list, but I did see something interesting at the bottom of his infield article (Insider subscription required). Olney had a simulation from AccuScore showing the impact of the Houston Astros leaving the NL Central for the AL West. In the simulation, AccuScore projected the standings with the 2012 alignment and the 2013 alignment. In the 2012 alignment, the Pirates were averaging 71.4 wins. In the 2013 alignment simulations, the Pirates were averaging 67.9 wins. Their chances of the playoffs in each case were next to nothing. I used to work for AccuScore, providing these types of projections and translating them to outlets like ESPN, USA Today, Versus, and Yahoo Sports. A few notes on the projections. **AccuScore simulates the season 10,000 times for their projections. The win totals are the average from those simulations. The playoff odds display how many times the team made the playoffs in the 10,000 simulations. The Pirates had 0.1%, meaning they made the playoffs 10 times in 10,000 simulations. **I worked on the NFL, NHL, and MLB simulations. We updated the rosters over the off-season, and did some custom simulations, but the focus on MLB usually came around Spring Training. The big draws now are the NFL playoffs and March Madness, with both tournaments usually having a simulation tool on ESPN. In the article, Stephen Oh notes that the formal win forecast is “still very subject to change”. I don’t know if the Pirates will be better or worse with the change. I do know that if they finish with around 68 wins, that should be it for this management group. I’d even say that should be it if they finish under .500 this year. **The main point of the simulations was the impact of the Astros leaving the NL Central. The Pirates were losing an average of 3.5 wins with the move. I don’t think that would change, even with the formal simulations. The Astros are still a very bad team, and losing them from the division is going to result in fewer wins for everyone. The Pirates beat up on the Astros last year, going 12-5. They’ll play them this year in interleague play, but not 17 times. That’s going to hurt. In the long-term, the Astros leaving the Central might be a good thing. They acquired some interesting players in the last year, whether it was through trades that blew up their major league roster, or through the draft. If their rebuild works, it will be good to have them out of the NL Central. In 2013 they will still struggle, so the move will result in fewer wins for the Pirates. What this means for Pittsburgh is that they’ll have to find a way to make up for those wins. Last year they won 79 games, and 12 of those were against the Astros. They have three games against the Astros this year, rather than 17. That means they’ll have to find a way to play .700 ball in those other 14 games, while doing that against tougher opponents. Links and Notes **The 2013 Prospect Guide is now available. Order your copy today! **Winter Leagues Update: Playoff Schedule and Notes.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Belichick: Ryan is 'buttering me up' with Hall of Fame praise

Marshall: Bears need to gel and do some kumbaya

Ray McDonald investigated for possible sexual assault

Red Sox appear content with rotation despite lack of true ace

Iguodala gets technical for mocking Conley travel

Bo Pelini takes shot at Nebraska during introductory presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Belichick: Patriots need to play better against the Jets

Rex Ryan doesn't want to get in trouble talking about Revis

Bears Conte willing to shorten lifespan for NFL career

Former NFLer Simeon Rice: I was sexually abused as a child

Jets owner favorites tweet about firing John Idzik

Mike Ditka turned Bears game off in first half

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson lead in 2014 athlete Google searches

Molding the market: All eyes on Max Scherzer

Another "Fire John Idzik' plane flies at Jets practice

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Report: Some Browns shunned Manziel during pregame

Making an attempt to understand Celtics' priorities

Gronk makes awkward sausage joke on 'Top Chef'

Walmart ripped for confusing Anthony/Lin doll

RG3 taking sabbatical from social media for rest of season

David Robinson's son to walk-on at Duke next year

The Most Valuable Player of each NFL division

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

5 NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Most impressive college hoops teams

Five reasons why FSU is going to win the CFB Playoff

Boxer admits to dive in Rourke bout

FCC heard about Brady's swearing?

Embracing the hate of the Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry

DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Andrew Hawkins defends shirt

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.