This week in the Central saw pitching continue to dominate, Addison Russell‘s first major league home run and the Brewers first series win. Here is a look at the division’s power rankings after four weeks of play:
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5. Milwaukee Brewers
It is May 3rd and the Milwaukee Brewers have finally won consecutive games. Playing a series against a very tough Chicago Cubs’ team the Brewers were also able to come away with their first series win. While the team is still a long way from moving up in the standings, they have finally showed some signs of life. With Carlos Gomez back in the lineup and Wily Peralta and Mike Fiers finally looking like their old selves, they will look to get on a roll.
Next week things do not get much easier as the Brewers come home for a prolonged homestand. They begin the week with a four game battle against the Los Angeles Dodgers with Clayton Kershaw on the hill Monday night. After that they finish the week back in the division as the Cubs come to town.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates had a tough week in the division. After losing a series to the Cubs, they were swept by the St. Louis Cardinals in crushing losses this weekend. While the pitching has kept them in games, they have struggled to come through with clutch hits when needed. If this team is going to get going, they need Andrew McCutchen to get back to the player that he has proven he can be.
They will look to get back on the right track this week as they have six home divisional match-ups. The week starts with three against the Reds before finishing with another battle against the Cardinals.
3. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds have been better than expected so far this year and are coming off a week where they won a series against Milwaukee and split a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves. To start the year, Joey Votto has been arguably the league’s best hitter, while Johnny Cueto and Anthony DeSclafani have been one of the best one-two punches in the division.
This week they have go head-to-head with the Pirates before traveling to Chicago to take on the under-performing Chicago White Sox.
2. Chicago Cubs
Everything has come together quickly in Chicago and with now pitching the way everyone thought he would, this Cubs team is even more dangerous. Everyone who has been called-up has been up to the task as this team looks to take over the division.
The week begins with a giant test as they travel to Busch Stadium to take on the Cardinals for four games before closing the week out in Milwaukee. By winning a few to start the week, they can really make a statement.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright last week, but so far it has not hurt their pitching stats. After 24 games, the Cardinals pitching staff leads all of baseball with a 2.36 ERA. Getting excellent performances from pitchers like Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha, they are rarely out of a game.
If they can have a strong week they could distance themselves from the pack. That task will not be easy as they begin the week with a four-game battle with the Cubs before closing out the week in Pittsburgh.