August 7, 2017
Through Saturday's games, the Pirates were a disappointing 53-57, good for only fourth in the National League Central, 5.5 games behind the finally-getting-their-act-together Cubs. They trailed the Diamondbacks by 10.0 games for the second Wild Card, with NL Central rivals Milwaukee and St. Louis ahead of them and Miami and Atlanta only 1.0 and 1.5 games behind, respectively. The team looks headed for another season with a losing record.
And that’s reflected by its record against weak teams. The Pirates are 26-33 against teams with losing records. Only the cellar-dwelling Giants, Phillies, White Sox, and A’s have a worse record against losing teams. And that makes sense; if you can’t beat up on the weaklings, you’re not going to play in the postseason.
But hang on. Pittsburgh is seven games below .500 against losing teams. But they’re only four games below .500 overall. That means ... they have a winning record against teams .500 or better?
Yes, they do. So far this year, there are seven teams that have won more than they’ve lost against teams with winning records: