Last winter, we put up a short post about three series of the 2012 season that we thought would be entertaining and important. As it turned out, the Bucs went on to win eight of the nine games in those series, with the lone loss coming on Opening Day against the Phillies. This year, with the new MLB schedule format, the Pirates’ schedule looks a little bit different, but here are three series to look forward to in 2013:
April 18th-21st vs. Braves
Just like last season, April looks like it will be the toughest month for the Pirates. Many of teams that they play the first month of the season were contenders in 2012, but the toughest team will probably be the Braves. They’ll play a four-game series at PNC Park against the Bravos, which will be an early test. Seeing the two Upton brothers will be cool, but this series could be rough. It will definitely be an early indication of how well the Bucs will handle themselves against the league’s best.
May 27th-30th @/vs. Tigers
The home-and-home series with the Tigers is a bit strange. The new schedule format makes the Pirates and Tigers *natural* rivals, which means they’ll play four games in a row, two at Comerica and two at PNC. Four games in a row means that the Bucs will likely face Justin Verlander, which should be interesting. Seeing an American League team is always nice, although it’s slightly less special with the year-round interleague starting this season. The first game of the series is Memorial Day, so it starts at 1:05.
July 2nd-4th vs. Phillies
Celebrating the Fourth of July at PNC Park is always nice, especially when the Bucs are playing well and in contention. This July, it’s likely that both the Pirates and Phillies will still be hanging around .500 and maybe even fighting for the top spot in their divisions. Phillies fans will be traveling to Pittsburgh in droves for the holiday, so expect a bunch of red in the seats. It’d be great to send the Phils back to the city where America was founded with a loss on the country’s birthday.
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