Tale of the Tape:
Record: Pirates (8-8), Diamondbacks (9-8)
Offense: Pirates (.291/.381/.407, 5th in the N.L in runs scored), Diamondbacks (.257/.312/.485, 7th in the N.L. in runs scored)
Team ERA: Pirates (4.20, 9th in the N.L.), Diamondbacks (4.17, 8th in the N.L.)
The Pirates have played one less game, but the tale of the tape says that the Diamondbacks and Pirates on similar levels.
In addition, both teams top of the rotation starters have struggled uncharacteristically at the start. However, Gerrit Cole like Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke, looked like the ace the Buccos need him to be. Cole tossed six shutout innings against the Padres earning his first victory, much like Greinke did in San Francisco.
Offensively, the Pirates like to score runs by loading up the top of the lineup with high on-base percentage guys and it is working for them. Pittsburgh is first in the National League in both batting average (.291), and on-base percentage (.381).
Andrew McCutchen is not leading the way like you would think to this point. Instead leadoff man Jon Jaso (.358) and Jordy Mercer (nine runs batted in) are leading the Pirates offense. Gregory Polanco, who is part of one of the best outfields in baseball is also off to a nice start batting .302 in 53 at-bats. Starling Marte is hot, hitting .328.
The Pirates have hit just seven home runs as a team. Only the Atlanta Braves have hit less home runs in the NL.