Both games Hurdle carried 16 position players and 9 pitchers. And in each case, versus Dusty Baker and the Reds in '13 and Bruce Bochy and the Giants in '14, the opposing manager opted to go with 15 position players and 10 pitchers. I think 16 position players is still the way to go. Here's how it should look.
Catchers: (2) Francisco Cervell, Chris Stewart
Each of the past two years Hurdle elected to carry three catchers and you can probably win a few cold ones at the local knowing that Tony Sanchez was that guy both games. Sanchez did start 2015 on the Opening Day roster due Chris Stewart's injury, but he only played 3 games, got just 9 at bats and his time in the Pirates organization is probably weeks away from being over. The Pirates did carry a third catcher in September when rosters expanded, promoting Elias Diaz, but he played a grand total of three innings which now accounts for his entire major league resume. I think it is safe to say that Hurdle won't be carrying three catchers this year.
Infielders: (8) Pedro Alvarez, Pedro Florimon, Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer, Michael Morse, Aramis Ramirez, Sean Rodriguez, Neil Walker
The big question for Hurdle is what his starting infield will look like. Neil Walker will get the start at second and Jordy Mercer will be at short. The question is who of Alvarez, Harrison and Ramirez sits. Two weeks ago it probably would have been Harrison, but he finished the season on a tear posting a .375/.419/.575 line in his last 40 at bats. Hurdle has been known to play the hot-hand and he had Harrison in the lineup for the last two games of the regular season, which were both meaningful. Alvarez sat against a lefty on Saturday while Ramirez sat against a righty on Sunday. Ramirez finished cold going 2-for-his-last-20. The other bench guys are easy choices. Rodriguez brings defensive value, Morse is a big right-handed bat and Florimon is the only other shortstop on the roster with Jung Ho Kang injured.
Outfielders: (6) Keon Broxton, Jaff Decker, Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco, Travis Snider
After the starters, and no, I don't think there is any chance Polanco sits in favor of Harrison in right, Snider and Decker are left-handed bats with Decker being the better defensive outfielder. And the 16th guy is Keon Broxton. He could be the difference in this game. Believe it or not Jake Arrieta does have a weakness. 19 of the last 20 would-be base stealers against Arrieta have been successful. With so many position players available off the bench, Clint Hurdle should look for an opportunity, maybe as early as the 4th inning, to have Broxton pinch-run against Arrieta. He has to be on the roster.
Starter: (1) Gerrit Cole
Bullpen: (8) Joe Blanton, Antonio Bastardo, Arquimedes Caminero, Jared Hughes, Bobby LaFromboise, Mark Melancon, Joakim Soria, Tony Watson
This is pretty straightforward. The only choice is Bobby LaFromboise as a third lefty or Vance Worley as a long-man. LaFromboise only pitched 8 innings this year but he was generally effective giving up just 5 hits, 1 walk and striking out 8. With Blanton, Caminero and Hughes all able to go multiple innings I'd rather have LaFromboise as a situational lefty, if needed.