While the National League Central looked like a three team race for a long time, the Cincinnati Reds are starting to play themselves back into contention at least for a wild card bid. Just 11 weeks into the season, here is a look at the power rankings in the Central.
5. Milwaukee Brewers
Another week in and another rough one for the Milwaukee Brewers. They began the week by being swept in two straight two game series against the Kansas City Royals and finished the week winning only one of three against the lowly Colorado Rockies. With another week in, the only positive remains the progress of Taylor Jungmann who got his second major league victory on Friday night. At 21 games under .500, the Brewers look to have grasp of the bottom spot for a long time.
This upcoming week the Brewers begin a six game homestand Tuesday with a three game series against the New York Mets before battling the Minnesota Twins to close out the week.
4. Cincinnati Reds
While the Reds appeared to play themselves out of contention weeks back, no one told Todd Frazier. With 23 home runs he has put the team on his back and tried to get them back into the race. This past week they won two of three against the Detroit Tigers and then won two of three against the Miami Marlins. Though they still trail the top three teams by a significant margin, they could find a way to play themselves back into the race.
They will be tested on their upcoming six game road trip that includes a three game series against both the Pirates and Mets.
3. Chicago Cubs
The debut of Kyle Schwarber this past week went even better than could have been expected. While he is going down, he proved that he will be back at some point very soon. The team lost three of four to the Cleveland Indians, but were then able to bounce back over the weekend to take the series with the Twins.
The Cubs have looked to show they are for real all year and their won’t be a bigger test than this upcoming week. They begin the week with a four game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers before finishing the week against the St. Louis Cardinals.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
After an awesome start to the week sweeping the White Sox in four games, the Pirates bats went cold this past weekend as they were swept by the Washington Nationals. With pitchers like Gerrit Cole and A.J. Burnett dealing right now, they should be in almost every game they play.
This week they will head home for a six game stretch with series against both the Reds and Braves. With their eyes towards the Cardinals, this is a big week to gain some ground.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
No matter what seems to happen health-wise, it seem that the Cardinals continue to pad their lead in the NL Central. This past week they split a four game stretch with the Twins and then were able to take two of three against the Phillies.
This upcoming week they will begin at Miami for three and they close out the week with a showdown against the Cubs.