After yet another week in the NL Central, the division looks completely different than it did just a month ago, and to the pleasure of many of you reading this: The Cubs are on top.
Let’s take a look at the NL Central now, a division in which four of the five teams currently sit about .500.
CUBS What a turn around for Joe Maddon’s team. The Cubs went from last in the division to first in a four week period. The reason the Cubs have been able to go on this run is through dominant starting pitching, an offense average close to six runs a game, and a bullpen that gets outs. Javy Baez truly is a magician and Willson Contreras as nearly tied his home run total from 2018 (10) with nine thus far. Bryant and Rizzo look bound to get hot while the rest of the teams looks as good as the Cubs have looked since the magical 2016 season. The Cubs swept both the Marlins and Cardinals this week and have won seven in a row. ON DECK: The Cubs take on the NL worst Marlins for four games and host the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley over Mother’s Day weekend.
CARDINALS Despite getting swept on the road by the current division leaders, the Cardinals have proven themselves as a main threat in the NL as the second team to reach 20 wins behind the Dodgers. A hot start from Paul De Jong and Marcel Ozuna mixed with consistent MVP like numbers from Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter gives the Cardinals one of the best offenses around. The team seems to lack the pitching at the moment to truly be dominant however. The Red Birds took three of four from the Nationals and got swept by the Cubs. ON DECK: The Cardinals play the Phillies in a three game set before paying host to the Pirates over the weekend.
BREWERS Christian Yelich missed most of the week with back problems and Lorenzo Cain is banged up, but to nobody’s surprise, Yelich homered in his first game back at Miller Park for his whopping 15th home run of the season. The Brewers split a four game series witht he Rockies before sweeping the Mets over the weekend. The Brewers continued to both score and give up a lot of runs – aside from Zach Davies – who has emerged as the team’s Ace early on. ON DECK: The Brewers host the Nationals in Milwaukee and then travel to Chicago to take on the Cubs in a crucial weekend division series.
PIRATES The Pirates had a pretty good week to work themselves above .500 and still a factor in the NL Central. The Pirates rode timely hitting with good starting pitching to four wins this week in five games. The Pirates swept the Rangers and then took two of three from the A’s. ON DECK: The Pirates are set to host the Rangers for two games and then travel to Busch Stadium for a Mother’s Day weekend series with the Cardinals.
REDS Despite the occasional offensive outburst, the Reds have nearly solidified themselves as the bottom-feeders of one of the league’s most difficult – and competitive – divisions. The Reds split a series with the Mets and lost two of three to the Giants. ON DECK: The Reds are in action today against the Giants, then travel to Oakland to take on the A’s and then play the Giants in San Francisco at the end of the week.
Through nearly 30-35 games, the division has been as expected: Four different leaders, and a thorough shake up in the division each week. Currently, the Chicago Cubs are King of one of the MLB’s best displays of talent.