July is almost here and the St. Louis Cardinals look to be the run away champions of the division, but that doesn’t mean they will be the only contender coming out of the Central. With team’s like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs among the NL’s best, here is a look at the power rankings in the division.
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5. Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers were the only team besides the St. Louis Cardinals that won both of their series this past week, but they still could not earn their first sweep of the season. Taylor Jungmann looked good again in his start and Jimmy Nelson had his best start of the season in defeating the New York Mets.
This upcoming week they will head on a seven game road trip, with match-ups against both the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds. In traveling to Philadelphia, the Brewers will finally face a team that has a worse winning percentage than they have.
4. Cincinnati Reds
After starting this past week out strong with a series win against the Pirates, the Reds were beaten by the Mets in four straight games to lose momentum. With plenty of talent, they are a team that is in limbo as July nears.
This upcoming week the Reds will head home to take on the Twins and Brewers in a pair of three game series.
3. Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs week started out great with back-to-back wins against the Los Angeles Dodgers in games started by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. But since that time, the team has lost five straight, including a tough sweep at the hands of the Cardinals. With July approaching, the team must make a decision on whether or not to add another piece to the rotation.
After having Monday off, the Cubs will travel to New York to take on the Mets for three before returning home to take on the Marlins.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates were able to bounce back from a series loss against the Reds by winning two of three against the Atlanta Braves. Still boasting one of the best rotations in baseball, the Pirates aren’t going away.
This upcoming week the Pirates will begin a tough four game stretch against the Detroit Tigers before returning home to battle the Cleveland Indians.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
It was a big week for the Cardinals and they didn’t disappoint. After sweeping the Miami Marlins in a three game stretch, they were able to finish off the Cubs in a three game weekend series. Although their roster is not at full strength, this Cardinals team is looking as not only one of the best in the league, but one of the best in franchise history.
This week the Cardinals will continue their home-stand with three games against both the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres.