This week was a busy week in the National League Central. Not only did the Chicago Cubs call-up superstar prospect, Kris Bryant, but the preseason favorites St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates began to heat up. Here is a look at where the teams stand after two full weeks of play:
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5. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers had a lot of things that they needed to happen to contend this season and while players like Jean Segura and Jimmy Nelson are off to great starts, almost everyone else is ice cold. The team is currently last in the league in runs and when they get down early, any lead seems insurmountable.
Their 2-10 start is the worst start in franchise history. With a big seven game home-stand against the Cincinnati Reds and the Cardinals, the Brewers need to heat up and put some games in the win column.
4. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds have gotten healthy and have battled in every game this season, but that has simply not been good enough to earn a top stop at the top of the division. Ace pitcher Johnny Cueto has continued to be one of the best pitchers in the game, but poor run support has again hurt his record.
They were swept over the weekend in St. Louis and with a 5-7 record they will look to get back on track against the Brewers starting Monday.
3. Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are proving to be a top force in the NL Central to start the season. They have battled tough competition early on and remained in every game. The top prospects have hit and with Kris Bryant officially up, this team looks to get even better.
Coming off a series win against the Reds to stat the week, they dropped two of three to the San Diego Padres to fall back into second place in the division. With a big series against the Pirates to start the week, they will have a big opportunity to get back to the top of the division.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates are heating up. Though they lost two of three to the Detroit Tigers, they swept the Brewers to end the weekend. Starling Marte did nothing against the rest of the league, but Milwaukee pitching has certainly helped get his bat on fire and Gerrit Cole has looked everything like the ace they hoped he would become in the early going this season.
They begin the week with a four series against the Cubs and finish it with a trip against the Arizona Diamondbacks. If they can continue to hit, they could be in first by the end of next week.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
Speaking of hot, the St. Louis Cardinals are right where they were expected to be, atop the division with a 8-3 record. Batting .381, Matt Carpenter seems to always be on base, while ace pitcher Adam Wainwright is back to his dominant self.
They took the final two games against Milwaukee to start the week and then capped off the weekend with a sweep of the Reds. This week they start by taking on the Washington Nationals before battling the Brewers to finish the weekend. They are proving once again that they will be players in the division all year long.