This week in the National League Central saw a coaching change, inter-divisional match-ups and a triple play. With many of the team’s jockeying for spots in the division, here is how they rank after five weeks.
5. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have held down the fifth spot since the first week of the season, but they are finally showing signs of life. Although they were the first team to reach the 20 loss mark, they have finally reach double digits in wins, too. After closing out last week with a series win, the team split a four game series with the Dodgers and then saw an offensive explosion over the weekend series win against the Cubs.
Next week the Brewers begin the week with a three game set against the Chicago White Sox before closing out the weekend against the NL East leading New York Mets. It will take another strong week for them to move out of the cellar.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates may be the most talented team in the league, but they have struggled out of the gates. After losing two of three to the Reds this past week, they finished strong by winning their last two games against the Cardinals.
This week they finally get out of the division as they face the Phillies before closing out the week with a three game series against the Cubs.
3. Chicago Cubs
This week the Cubs saw their first home run from Kris Bryant, but two series losses to both the Cardinals and Brewers. While Jon Lester has begun to get on track, the backend of the rotation and the front end of the bullpen are not without questions.
They begin the week with a three game series against the Mets starting on Monday and then finish the week with a big divisional match-up against the Pirates.
2. Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds have continued to overachieve. With Joey Votto continuing to play at an MVP level, this team has had everything clicking throughout the year. After winning a series against the Pirates to open the week, they lost two of three to the White Sox to close out the weekend.
The team starts a seven game homestand on Monday with a three game series against the Braves before finishing the week with a big four game series against the Giants.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
Sitting atop the division and the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals are arguably the best team in baseball right now. Though they have lost Adam Wainwright for the season and are currently playing without their sparkplug, Matt Carpenter, they have continued to roll. With the best pitching staff in the NL, the Cards are never out of games. They took three of four from the Cubs to start the week and finished the week with a series win against the Pirates.
The team begins next week with a three game match-up against the struggling Cleveland Indians before a weekend showdown against the Detroit Tigers.
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