This week in the Central, the St. Louis Cardinals have remained hot, the Chicago Cubs have called up another future star in Addison Russell and the Milwaukee Brewers have continued their unbelievable slide. Key injuries also occurred as the Milwaukee Brewers lost all-star catcher, Jonathan Lucroy to a broken toe and the Cardinals appear to have lost Adam Wainwright for an extended period of time. Here is a look at the power rankings in the division three weeks into the season.
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5. Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are in last in the standings and clearly last in the rankings. They not only have the worst division in all of baseball, but they also do not appear to have any help any time soon. The team has struggled in every phase of the game and lost two more divisional series this week. Although they were able to win the final game of their series against the Cardinals, they played with a lineup that looked nothing like their opening day one.
In the upcoming week the Brewers will remain in the division as they go to Cincinnati for three before finishing the weekend with a visit to Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs. At some point the team should bust out of it, but there have been little signs of life from this roster so far.
4. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds got back on the winning track this week after heading into Milwaukee cold. They won handily won three of four against the Brewers and Joey Votto has continued to play at an MVP level. With Votto slugging better than he has since 2012, and Todd Frazier looking like one of the best third basemen in the game, this lineup could be tough to face all year long.
They begin this upcoming week taking on the Brewers at home before traveling to Atlanta for four. Currently in fourth place in the division, they will look to gain ground this week.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
One of the biggest keys to the Pirates season this year was Gerrit Cole developing into an ace and he has looked the part thus far. He was again excellent this week allowing just one run in 7.2 innings and picking up his third victory. With his arm at the top of the rotation they have a definite stopper and an arm they can count on each time out.
This upcoming week will be a very important one for the Pirates as they have an inter-division battle against both the Cubs and Cardinals.
2. Chicago Cubs
Future is now in Chicago and that was proven again with the promotion of Addison Russell. With all of the young bats in the lineup the Cubs are fired up and ready to take over the Central.
Currently in second place in the division the Cubs take on the Pirates before squaring off against the Brewers for three to close out the week. They have been much better than anyone expected this early and with the young team developing they should continue to rise all year.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals remain seated atop the division, but things could get dicey soon. This past weekend the team saw injuries to Jason Heyward, Yadier Molina and Wainwright. While the young pitchers have been solid, making up for their staff ace and leader may be difficult to do especially considering the fierce competition in the division.
They begin the upcoming week against the Phillies before closing it out against the Pirates. Considering the battles the Cardinals and Pirates have had in recent years, the weekend series should be a great one.