Hi Affiliates,

In our latest article, Sports Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle wonders if the Pirates can reach the playoffs. We have posted the article in our affiliate system and you can grab a copy with your affiliate links by logging into your affiliate account at http://www.sportsinteraction.com/affiliate/ and looking under RSS Feeds.

Here's the article:

Sports Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle wonders if the Pirates can reach the playoffs for the first time in nineteen years.

Boston is right back in contention after a poor start, Philly has the most feared rotation in baseball and the Yankees are always the Yankees. But the story that’s capturing baseball bettors’ imaginations right now is the one set by the banks of the Allegheny River, as the Pittsburgh Pirates are in the thick of the race for the playoffs.

At time of writing, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and St Louis are jostling for position at the top of the NL Central. The Reds are still in contention, but they’re a little bit back. The question is: can Pittsburgh hang on, or will Milwaukee or St Louis reel them in?

The betting odds tell their own story. Milwaukee, St Louis and even Cincinnati are all shorter prices than the Pirates to win the Central. And there are reasons for that.

Firstly, it’s not that obvious how the Pirates are in contention in the first place. They’re better than they have been for years but that wasn’t a high bar to start from. The Pirates are 23rd in runs scored, 29th in strikeouts and are in contention for the playoffs. How does that happen? How can it continue?

Secondly, the Pirates’ schedule is taking a turn for the worse. Counting from their visit to St Louis on Friday, the Pirates have 66 games left in the season. Thirteen are against St Louis, ten are against Milwaukee, and six are against Cincinnati. There are two road series next week against Atlanta and Philly, and Arizona and the Giants are on the slate as well. There is nothing easy there.

While the Pirates wonder whether or not to trade the Brewers have dug into the treasure chest to buy relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez. The Brewers want to win now.

And there’s St Louis, the 2006 World Champions and most regularly under-rated team in the Major Leagues.

The Cardinals have finished below .500 in only three of the sixteen years since Tony LaRussa’s been manager – 1997, 1999 and 2007, the year after they won the World Series. The Cardinals have been to the playoffs in eight of those sixteen years. The Cardinals are regularly, consistently good.

The Brewers didn’t buy K-Rod because they were worried about the Pirates. They bought because the road to the playoffs goes through St Louis in 2010, just as in every other year. For the Pirates, it is still about next year.

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Sports Interaction Affiliate Team