The Pittsburgh Pirates closed out yet another season without being World Series contenders, but overall, the team did have some great success.
The 2018 season was the 137th for the franchise and was the 132nd season as a team belonging to the National League. Playing home games for the 18th year at PNC Park, the Pirates had a strong season but eventually fell short, finishing 4th in the league with 82 wins and 79 losses. Under the management of Clint Hurdle and General Manager Neal Huntington, the Pirates were a crowd pleaser for PA sports fans throughout the season.
While the team did have some winning streaks and some great come-back games, they still fell short, disappointing many fans. They were13 games short of first place and fell eight games behind in the race for a Wild Card spot, eliminating the hopes of a post-season It is evident the team will have to make some drastic changes for the 2019 season if they wish to see post-season action.
Looking Towards 2019
Now that the 2018 season is over, the Pirates need to start planning for the year ahead. After just sneaking by with a winning record, some changes could benefit the team and they need to improve the current roster. At the end of the season, the Pirates fired the hitting staff, letting Jeff Branson and Jeff Livesey go. They will obviously need to replace them to ensure the team has a stronger offense in the coming year. Some reports claim the team will be looking to interview the assistant hitting coach from the Red Sox, Andy Barkett. As of now, that is the only talk of a replacement.
As for offseason acquisitions, there is not much talk about this yet. There is a huge lack of quality on the market and the Pirates will be looking for a shortstop, so they are considering Kevin Newman unless a trade is conducted. The team will also be looking to add another outfielder to the roster as well as adding some depth to the pitching staff.
Online Betting on the Pirates
Pennsylvania residents love their professional sports teams and they often place wagers on games and events throughout the seasons. Recently, the state passed laws that would allow local casinos to add sportsbooks to the venues, presenting bettors with a way to place bets at a local establishment. While a number of leading casinos in the state are taking advantage of this, these sportsbooks will not be available for another month or so. Since the MLB season is already over, this is not a huge deal for baseball bettors since no online bets are available when seasons are not in play.
However, bets on the MLB can still be placed and in order to do this, PA residents will have to turn to sites that are operating in other states until local venues are up and running. Betting on baseball is a popular pastime for many and with some amazing sites offering great odds and even bonus deals, placing wagers on MLB games is safe secure and can be extremely lucrative.
The new legislation in PA has caused the Pirates to respond by asking for part of the revenue that is generated from legal betting in the state. The franchise claims that without professional sports, there would be no sports betting and they are asking for a cut of the revenue to assist with facility maintenance. The team claims they need to funds to maintain PNC Park, which was actually built using mostly public funds, with et Pirates contributing just $40 million to the $262 million cost of the park.