The Cardinals had to place Matt Holliday on the DL, but they are the only team in the MLB with 40+ wins. The Pirates and Cubs keep hovering around at 6.0 and 6.5 games back, and the two teams hold the #1 and #2 wild card spots. It is looking more and more likely that the NL Central could get three teams in the postseason. Meanwhile, the Reds and Brewers are getting more and more serious with trade talks, and could blow their teams up.

St. Louis Cardinals 41-21 –
Pittsburgh Pirates 35-27 6.0 GB
Chicago Cubs 34-27 6.5 GB
Cincinnati Reds 28-34 13.0 GB
Milwaukee Brewers 24-40 18.0 GB

Chicago Cubs

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The Cubs have won 6 of 8 after taking 3 of 4 this weekend against the Reds. They remain in the NL Central hunt at 6.5 games back, and have a 1.5 game lead over the Giants for the second wild card spot (only 0.5 games behind the Pirates for the first wild card spot).

Kris Bryant has shown no signs of slowing down since being called up. Bryant has already accumulated 2.5 fWAR in just 52 games, and is hitting .292/.403/.479 with 7 HR and 144 wRC+. Meanwhile, Jason Hammel has been a surprising star in the Cubs rotation. Hammel has a 2.81 ERA, 3.16 FIP, and 1.6 fWAR through his first 12 starts.

Who’s Hot (last 7 days): Kris Bryant: .455/.571/.727, 8 R, 250 wRC+, 0.7 fWAR
Who’s Cold (last 7 days): Anthony Rizzo: .200/.310/.280, 5 for 25, 6 K, 69 wRC+, -0.1 fWAR

This Week:

  • Mon (8:05), Tues (8:05) vs Indians
  • Wed (7:10), Thurs (7:10) at Indians
  • Fri (8:10), Sat (2:10), Sun (2:10) at Twins

Milwaukee Brewers

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The Milwaukee Brewers are finally playing some good baseball. They won 2 of 3 against the Twins (34-28) last weekend, and then this week took 2 of 3 from the Pirates (35-27), and split a 4-game series against the Nationals (33-30). Overall, the Brewers have won 8 of their last 14 games.

The Brewers success wasn’t felt on Sunday though. The Brewers were 1-hit by Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who struck out 16. Carlos Gomez had the lone hit for the Brewers.

Who’s Hot (last 7 days): Gerardo Parra: .346/.393/.538, 1 HR, 155 wRC+, 0.2 fWAR
Who’s Cold (last 7 days): Jonathan Lucroy: .207/.233/.207, 6 for 29, 18 wRC+, -0.2 fWAR

This Week:

  • Mon (8:10), Tues (8:10) vs Royals
  • Wed (8:10), Thurs (8:10) at Royals
  • Fri (8:40), Sat (4:10), Sun (4:10) at Rockies

Pittsburgh Pirates

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The Pirates began the week with a disappointing series loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at home, but responded with a sweep of the Phillies. The Pirates sit in second place in the NL Central (6.0 GB), but do hold the first wild card spot.

The Pirates trade for catcher Francisco Cervelli has certainly paid off so far. Cervelli is hitting .321/.400/.390 with a 128 wRC+ and 1.7 fWAR (tied for the team lead with Andrew McCutchen). Cervelli is also making south of a million, which is a very good bargain for the Bucs.

The Pirates trio of Cole, Burnett, and Liriano has been just about as good as it gets. The numbers below speak for themselves.

Bucs trio

Who’s Hot (last 7 days): Gerrit Cole: 13.0 IP, 14 K, 0.69 ERA, 2.10 FIP, 0.4 fWAR
Who’s Cold (last 7 days): Gregory Polanco: .130/.167/.217, 3 for 23, -11 wRC+, -0.2 fWAR

This Week:

  • Mon (7:05), Tues (7:05) vs White Sox
  • Wed (8:10), Thurs (8:10) at White Sox
  • Fri (7:05), Sat (4:05), Sun (1:35) at Nationals

St. Louis Cardinals

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You never know what can happen in baseball. The Cardinals (who have the best record in baseball) began the week by losing 2 of 3 at home to the last place Colorado Rockies (28-34). The Cardinals however rebounded over the weekend by sweeping a 2-game, rain-shortened series against the first place Kansas City Royals. On Friday night, the Cardinals became the first team in the MLB to win 40 games in 2015.

The Cardinals lost another key player to injury. Matt Holliday was placed on the 15-day DL with a Grade 2 right quadriceps strain that he suffered in Monday’s game against the Rockies. It is amazing that the Cardinals have been able to sustain the best record in baseball with injuries to Wainwright, Holliday, Adams, and Carpenter.

Mark Reynolds has been an above average hitter for the Cardinals filling in for Matt Adams. Reynolds has a 103 wRC+ and 0.6 fWAR, and has helped the Cards deal with the loss of Adams.

Who’s Hot (last 7 days): Mark Reynolds: .333/.440/.571, 1 HR, 1 SB, 181 wRC+, 0.4 fWAR
Who’s Cold (last 7 days): Matt Carpenter: .136/.208/.136, 3 for 22, 9 K, 0 wRC+, -0.2 fWAR

This Week:

  • Mon (8:15), Tues (1:45) vs Twins
  • Wed (8:10), Thurs (1:10) at Twins
  • Fri (7:05), Sat (7:05), Sun (1:35) at Phillies

 Nick’s Power Rankings

  1. St. Louis Cardinals

  2. Pittsburgh Pirates

  3. Chicago Cubs

  4. Cincinnati Reds

  5. Milwaukee Brewers

(every team stayed the same from last week)


Players of the Week

Pitcher: Gerrit Cole, Pirates: 13.0 IP, 14 K, 0.69 ERA, 2.10 FIP, 0.4 fWAR

Batter: Joey Votto, Reds: .333/.400/.815, 4 HR, 223 wRC+, 0.5 fWAR

 

All statistics include games played through 6/13/15, and used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats and Info, and Baseball-Reference (including Baseball-Reference Play Index). 

7 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    What’s going on in that Pittsburgh Pirates picture?

  2. Vanessa Galagnara

    The Cardinals keep on winning with all those injuries but how long can they sustain those winning ways? Eventually it has to take a tole unless the replacements are going to outperform the starters.

  3. pinson343

    And Lance Lynn has now gone on the disabled list with a “right forearm strain”. Jaimie Garcia is an injury waiting to happen.

    The regular 3-4-5 hitters in the Cardinals lineup now are Perralta, Mark Reynolds, and Molina. Reynolds is hitting .258/.329/.391, Molina .278/,324/.327.
    A .327 slugging pct. is miniscule.

    They’ve been winning primarily with pitching and defense, but with starting pitchers going down and with a middle of the lineup like that, it’s going to take a toll. I don’t know how much of one.

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      The baseball gods might have a favorite child in the Cardinals but attrition is attrition. They cannot sustain a first place team with that kind of loss. Goodness sounds like our lowly Reds could take them right about now.

      • pinson343

        Now would be a good time to play them, definitely.