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MLB Standings: Pirates Alive In NL Central, But Face Tough Upcoming Schedule

With nearly a month of the season now over, the Pirates are in fourth place in the NL Central, two games behind the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. Here are the standings:

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Brewers 12-11

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Cardinals 12-11

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Reds 12-12

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Pirates 10-13

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Cubs 10-13

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Astros 9-14

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The Pirates have scored 23 fewer runs than they've allowed this year, but it's nice to see that the Cubs (-26 run differential) and Astros (-25) have been just as bad. The Cubs have enough talent to rebound, but the Astros might not.

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The Pirates' upcoming schedule, unfortunately, is a tough one. Not only do they have two games remaining against the World Series champion Giants, but they have to follow that with a road series (April 29 - May 1) against against a tough Rockies team that has already beaten them in three out of four games this year. Beginning May 2, they'll begin two easier series against the Padres (whose 9-15 record this year is probably just as good an indication of their true level of ability as their surprisingly strong performance in 2010 - there just isn't a ton of talent there) and Astros (who will hopefully prove to be the worst team in the NL Central this season).

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.