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After starting 4-0, the Pirates are noticing a change in the number of expected wins and their chances of winning the division

After the Pittsburgh Pirates' Easter Sunday win against the Miami Marlins in extra innings, manager Derek Shelton gave a suitable evaluation of how his team just completed a four-game sweep to start the season.

After the Pittsburgh Pirates won against the Miami Marlins on Easter Sunday in extra innings, manager Derek Shelton accurately described how his team completed a four-game sweep to start the season.

Shelton pointed out that all 26 players on the roster contributed to the four-game series win, which he believes is very important.

Despite only playing a few games, the Pirates are seeing a slight shift in the outside predictions for their performance in 2024.

From rookie starter Jared Jones to the bullpen's strong performance in Miami to Ke'Bryan Hayes' impressive hitting, the Pirates have received contributions from the entire roster.

Shelton and the returning Pirates understand that it's still early in the season and there's a lot of baseball left to play.

The Pirates had a great start in April last year with a 20-9 record, but then struggled and finished 76-86.

Even though it's only 2.5% of the full 162-game season, winning four games in a row at the beginning shouldn't be overlooked.

For Pirates fans who hoped the team would play .500 baseball this year, these early results are a reason to be hopeful.

At the start of the season, Vegas Insider predicted the Pirates would win 73.5 games.

After Sunday, Fangraphs now predicts the Pirates will win 80.4 games in 2024.

But how about the Pirates aiming for their first division title since 1992?

Vegas advises caution, as the Pirates currently have +1000 odds to win the NL Central.

However, according to Fangraphs, the Pirates' divisional rivals have similar expected win totals after the first few games.

St. Louis is expected to win 81.8, followed by Milwaukee with 81.7. The Chicago Cubs are projected at 81.1 wins while the Cincinnati Reds are at 79.8.

The Cardinals are the favorite to win the division (24.0%), followed by the Brewers (23.0%), Cubs (20.4%), Pirates (17.6%), and Reds (15.0%).

Fangraphs lists the probability of the Pirates making it to the postseason at 29.9%.

It’s too early to say for sure, but considering the state of the NL Central this year, thoughts of 1997 come to mind, when the Houston Astros won the division with only 84 wins.

The “Freak Show” Pirates finished five games behind with 79 wins.

It hasn't all been positive for the Pirates.

Starter Bailey Falter, whose lackluster performance (0-2, 7.88 ERA) in spring raised concerns, did not perform well in his first start on Sunday.

Not like many of their teammates who are hitting the baseball well, such as Hayes, Oneil Cruz (.357), Edward Olivares (.333), Bryan Reynolds (.316), Michael A. Taylor (.385) and Connor Joe (.316), catcher Henry Davis (.167) and outfielder Jack Suwinski (.143) haven't quite found their swings yet.

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