Fresh off of all-star break, the MLB has reached the unofficial midway point of the season and the National League Central remains baseball’s best division. Now 15 weeks into the season, here is a look at the power rankings in the Central.
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5. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds have a better winning percentage than the Milwaukee Brewers, but with the way that they have played these last few weeks they have been passed up in wins. They may have one of the top third basemen in the league and one of the best starting pitchers, but this team is in the middle of another lost season. Coming off the break, they lost two of three to the Indians. With moveable pieces, this team needs to make some changes at the deadline.
This upcoming week they have a four game home series against the Chicago Cubs that includes a double header and then they finish with a three game trip to Colorado to take on the Rockies.
4. Milwaukee Brewers
If it wasn’t for their horrendous start, this recent hot stretch could have been enough to get the Brewers back into the race. They have been streaking since late June and came off the break on fire by sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates. With Taylor Jungmann and Jimmy Nelson looking great, the future is looking much brighter then it did just a few week ago.
After a day off on Monday, the Brewers will finish their home stand with a two game series with the Indians before finishing the week with a four game swing in Arizona.
3. Chicago Cubs
If the playoffs were to start today the Cubs would hold a slim one game lead over the second wild card. Coming off of the break they were able to take a big three game series against the Atlanta Braves, topped off with a great outing from Jon Lester. With the young team hanging around, it will be interesting to see what direction they go in the final weeks of July.
This upcoming week they get a break in the schedule with a four game series against the Reds and then a three game match-up with the Philadelphia Phillies.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates were the hottest team in all of baseball heading into the break, but they have stumbled out of the gates as they were swept by Milwaukee. With their two top pitchers set to go next, they will look to get back on the winning track this week.
It won’t be very easy however to quickly right the ship, as they have a tough three game trip to Kansas City before a four game home stand against the Washington Nationals.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals started out the second half of the season the way they did much of the first half, by taking another series win. After winning the first two games against the New York Mets, they lost a tough 18-inning marathon in the finale. Through it all, they remain the top team in the National League.
This upcoming week they have travel to Chicago for two games against the White Sox and then they finish the week with a make-up game against the Royals and a three game series against the Braves.