The Pirates start their weekend series with the Rangers in about an hour. The Rangers play in a league with inferior rules, so pitchers won’t bat and Jung Ho Kang is in the lineup as the DH. Matt Joyce was my prediction, but hey, can’t get them all right. This is a great situation, though; I remember a few years ago, the Pirates had basically no one who could be a legitimate DH (excluding Pedro Alvarez, since he was a mostly everyday player at those points) outside of Garrett Jones and Matt Hague.
Jon Niese takes the mound for the Buccos tonight. I’m not really sure what the trajectory for the rest of his season is going to look like; the Pirates have enough invested in him at this point that they can’t really give up on him, but he’s been their worst starter by WAR and a lot of other metrics. As far as I’m concerned, he’s basically pitching for his spot in the rotation over his next 2-3 starts, and if he doesn’t show improvement, he might be one of the starters relegated to the bullpen (or worse) to make room for the young guns from AAA.
First pitch tonight is at 8:05pm EDT. Look for the offense to continue rolling and bury the Rangers before Niese even gets a chance to give up a handful of runs.