2014 Reds / Central Intelligence

Week 7: Focus on NL Central Pitchers

standings

NL Central Power Rankings Week 7

This week will have a special focus on NL Central pitchers, and their performances so far in 2014.

*please note: all stats outside of team records only include games played through 5/17/14.

1. Milwaukee Brewers (last week 1): 27-17, 1st Place, 169 RS, 159 RA (+10)

The Brewers entered Saturday’s game against the Cubs on a nice roll, as they had won 5 of 6.  They however lost their final two games against the Cubs.  The Brewers of course got off to that incredible 20-7 start this season, but are just 7-10. since then.

The pitching of the Brewers is the main reason they are four games ahead in the NL Central.  Their team 3.17 ERA and 1.18 WHIP both rank 4th in the MLB.  The Brewers FIP (see explanation of FIP here) is 3.71, which is the 13th best in the MLB.  That shows a bit of their success has been luck, but 13th in the MLB is still pretty good.  The Milwaukee starting pitchers have posted a 3.22 ERA and 1.18 WHIP (both 7th best in the MLB), while the bullpen has posted a 3.06 ERA (8th in the MLB), and a 1.18 WHIP (tied for 4th in the MLB).

The Brewers have been lead by starters Wily Peralta (2.05 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 3.71 FIP), Kyle Lohse (2.88 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.77 FIP), and Yovani Gallardo (3.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 3.99 FIP).  Francisco Rodriguez has been terrific as the Brewers closer, posting a 1.57 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 1.86 FIP, and 10.96 K/9.  As great as Rodriguez has been, he may have been outdone by reliever Will Smith.  In 20.1 IP, Smith has posted a 0.44 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 1.60 FIP, and 13.28 K/9.

Starting Pitchers this week

Brew Pitch

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Rickie Weeks: .571/.600/.929, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 330 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Jean Segura: .381/.435/.429, 3 RBI, 146 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Jonathan Lucroy: .350/.435/.350, 4 RBI, 128 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Wily Peralta: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0.86 WHIP, 1.29 ERA, 0.2 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Mark Reynolds: .136/.200/.136, 9 K, 3 for 22, -8 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  • Lyle Overbay: .143/.143/.143, 6 K, 2 for 14, -33 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Francisco Rodriguez: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 K, 4 ER, 1.50 WHIP, 9.00 ERA, -0.1 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

brew injuries

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:10), Tues (7:10), Wed (7:10), Thurs (7:10) at Atlanta
  • Fri (7:10), Sat (4:10), Sun (1:10) at Miami

2. St. Louis Cardinals (last week: 2): 23-21, 2nd Place, 4.0 GB, 168 RS, 157 RA, (+11)

The Cardinals went 3-3 this week.  They lost two of three at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, but won two of three at home against the Braves.  The Cardinals have cut the Brewers lead in the division to 4.0 games, and are now just 0.5 out of the second wild-card spot.

The St. Louis pitching has been pretty good.  As a team, they’ve posted a 3.33 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, which are both the 8th best in the MLB.  The Cardinals starters have been superb, posting a 3.00 ERA (tied with the Reds for 4th best in the MLB).  The bullpen has been a bit shaky though, posting a 4.04 ERA (20th in the MLB).  The Cardinals relievers have been a bit unlucky though, as they’ve posted a 1.21 WHIP and 3.03 FIP (both 6th in the MLB).

Adam Wainwright (2.11 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 2.69 FIP) and Michael Wacha (2.82 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 2.75 FIP) have been the anchors of the Cardinals rotation.  Trevor Rosenthal (4.29 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) has been a little shaky as the Cardinals closer, but still has posted 11.14 K/9 and a 3.08 FIP.  Pat Neshek has been good in the Cardinals bullpen in 17.2 IP, posting a 1.02 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 10.79 K/9, 1.53 BB/9, and a 2.12 FIP.

Starting Pitchers this week

Cards SP

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Yadier Molina: .476/.480/.524, 5 RBI, 178 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Allen Craig: .348/.400/.435, 4 RBI, 140 wRC+, 0.1 WAR
  • Peter Bourjos: .313/.398/.375, 1 SB, 122 2RC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Shelby Miller: 12.1 IP, 9 H, 9 K, 2 ER, 6 BB, 1.22 WHIP, 1.46 ERA
  • Michael Wacha: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1.00 WHIP, 2.57 ERA, 0.1 WAR
  • Pat Neshek: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 3 K, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0.00 WHIP, 0.00 ERA, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Matt Holliday: .167/.259/.292, 7 K, 4 for 24, 58 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Matt Carpenter: .115/.207/.154, 3 for 26, -6 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  • Tyler Lyons: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 9 H, 2 K, 9 ER, 1 BB, 2.50 WHIP, 20.25 ERA, -0.2 WAR
  • Randy Choate: 1.1 IP, 7 H, 0 K, 6 ER, 5.25 WHIP, 40.50 ERA
  • Kevin Siegrist: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 5 K, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3.43 WHIP, 7.41 ERA, -0.1 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

Cards injuries

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (8:15), Wed (8:15), Thurs (7:15) vs. Arizona
  • Fri (7:10), Sat (7:15), Sun (8:00) at Cincinnati

3. Cincinnati Reds (last week: 3): 19-23, 3rd Place, 7.0 GB, 150 RS,  154 RA (-4)

Any reader of Redleg Nation should already know just about how brutal of a week this was for the Reds, so I’ll save you the horror of having to read a recap of the Reds week again.

It’s as simple as this: the Reds starting pitching has been absolutely terrific, while the bullpen has downright sucked.  Reds SP have posted a 3.00 ERA (tied for 4th in the MLB), and an MLB best 1.08 WHIP.  The bullpen however has posted a 5.18 ERA (28th in the MLB), and an MLB worst 1.61 WHIP.

Johnny Cueto is off to what might be the greatest start of any pitcher in MLB history (read ESPN Stats & Info’s story on that here).  Alfredo Simon has gone from being a fill-in to a terrific MLB SP, posting a 2.45 ERA and 1.03 WHIP through 8 starts, and Mike Leake (3.09 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) is off to a terrific start.  Homer Bailey has struggled out of the gates after his $100 million extension, but I fully believe he will finish with a good 2014 season.  With Bailey, I’d trust his 3.58 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 65 starts between 2012-13 than 5 bad starts out of 9 in 2014.  The main culpraites of the Reds bullpen struggles have been Hoover, Ondrusek, and Marshall.  They have combined to allow 49 Hits & 28 ER in 31.2 IP this season (8.08 ERA, 2.21 WHIP).

Starting Pitchers this week

Reds SP

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Brandon Phillips: .304/.333/.565, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 147 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Zack Cozart: .333/.333/.400, 2 RBI, 102 wRC+, 0.1 WAR
  • Johnny Cueto: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 8 K, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0.56 WHIP, 0.00 ERA, 0.3 WAR
  • Alfredo Simon: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 8 K, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0.78 WHIP, 0.00 ERA, 0.3 WAR
  • Mike Leake: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 5 K, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0.38 WHIP, 1.13 ERA, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Ryan Ludwick: .063/.167/.063, 1 for 16, 4 K, -33 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  • Skip Schumaker: .176/.222/.176, 5 K, 3 for 17, 7 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Brayan Pena: .143/.143/.214, 2 for 14, -13 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Sean Marshall: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 2 K, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4.00 WHIP, 27.00 ERA, -0.2 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

Reds Injuries

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:05), Tues (7:05), Wed (4:05) at Washington
  • Fri (7:10), Sat (7:15), Sun (8:00) vs St. Louis

4. Pittsburgh Pirates (last week: 4): 18-25, 4th Place, 8.5 GB, 167 RS, 185 RA (-18)

The Pirates have lost 5 of 7, and are now just 18-24 this season.  The 2014 Pirates are looking a lot like the 2011 Reds.  They finally got off the hump the year before and reached the playoffs, but haven’t quite figured out how to handle that success the next season.  Maybe the Pirates will figure it out in 2014, but their -18 run differential is certainly concerning.

The Pittsburgh pitching has been disappointing.  The strength of the Pirates in 2013 has posted a 3.92 ERA (19th in the MLB), and a 1.31 WHIP (16th in the MLB).  It hasn’t been bad luck either, as the Pirates 3.92 FIP is 27th in the MLB.  The Pirates starters have been awful, as they’ve posted a 4.46 ERA (25th in the MLB).  Their relievers have however been much better, posting a 2.94 ERA (5th in the MLB).

Gerrit Cole (3.76 ERA, 1.31 WHIP) and Charlie Morton (3.22 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) have been the only decent Pirates starters.  Tony Watson has been the true bright spot among Pirates pitchers.  In 19.0 IP, Watson has posted a 1.42 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 1.92 FIP, 11.84 K/9, and 1.89 BB/9.

Starting Pitchers this week

Bucs SP.

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Gabby Sanchez: .364/.364/.818, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 231 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Tony Sanchez: .417/.417/.667, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 209 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Jordy Mercer: .300/.333/.550, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 147 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Francisco Liriano: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 7 K,  1 ER, 1 BB, 0.83 WHIP, 1.50 ERA, 0.3 WAR
  • Charlie Morton: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1.33 WHIP, 1.50 ERA, 0.1 WAR
  • Jared Wilson: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 4 K, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0.00 WHIP, 0.00 ERA, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Andrew McCutchen: .133/.381/.133, 2 for 15, 3 K, 78 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
  • Edinson Volquez: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 5 ER, 0 BB, 0.95 WHIP, 7.11 ERA, -0.3 WAR
  • Melancon, Morris, and Mazzaro: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 2 K, 6 ER, 7 BB

 Injuries (click to expand)

Bucs Injuries

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (7:05), Wed (7:05) vs Baltimore
  • Thurs (7:05), Fri (7:05), Sat (7:15), Sun (1:35) vs Washington

5. Chicago Cubs (last week: 5): 15-27, 5th Place, 11.0 GB, 166 RS, 169 RA (-3)

The Cubs did take two of three over the weekend against the Brewers, but they quite simply might be the most unlucky team in baseball.  They have only been outscored by 3 runs, but are 12 games under .500 and 11 games back in the division.  For comparison, the Diamondbacks have been outscored by 60 runs this season, and are only 10.5 games back in the NL West.

The Cubs pitching has actually been pretty good.  They’ve posted a team 3.63 ERA (12th in the MLB) and 1.29 WHIP (tied 13th in the MLB).  Their starters and relievers have been just about equally effective in 2014.  The Cubs SP have posted a 3.72 ERA (12th in the MLB) and 1.29 WHIP (tied 13th in the MLB), while their relievers have posted a 3.54 ERA (12th in the MLB) and 1.28 WHIP (11th in the MLB).

Jeff Samardzija has been outstanding for the Cubs, posting a 1.62 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 2.87 FIP through 9 starts.  Jason Hammel has also been good in the Cubs rotation, posting a 3.06 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 3.36 FIP.

Starting Pitchers this week

Cubs SP

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Starlin Castro: .407/.407/.704, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 207 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Luis Valbuena: .462/.500/.769, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 253 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Junior Lake: .316/.333/.737, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 181 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Darwin Barney: .316/.350/.474, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 127 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Edwin Jackson: 13.0 IP, 10 H, 14 K, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1.00 WHIP, 2.08 ERA, 0.4 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Mike Olt: .118/.250/.182, 2 for 11, 4 K, 10 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Wellington Castillo: .227/.227/.318, 5 for 22, 3 K, 41 wRC+
  • Chris Coughlan: .000/.000/.000, 0 for 10, 3 K, -100wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  • Jason Hammel: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 6 K, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1.31 WHIP, 8.44 ERA

Injuries (click to expand)

Cubs Hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (8:05), Wed (2:20) vs New York Yankees
  • Thurs (10:10), Fri (10:10), Sat (10:10), Sun (4:10) at San Diego

 NL Central Players of the Week

  • Rickie Weeks: .571/.600/.929, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 330 wRC+, 0.4 WAR

  • Johnny Cueto: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 8 K, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0.56 WHIP, 0.00 ERA, 0.3 WAR

See previous players of the week here.

5 thoughts on “Week 7: Focus on NL Central Pitchers

  1. Proofreading needed:
    “The Brewers of course got off to that incredible 20-7 this season, but are just 7-10. since then.”

    “The main culpraites of the Reds bullpen struggles have been Hoover, Ondrusek, and Marshall. The have combined to allow 49 Hits & 28 ER in 31.2 IP this season (8.08 ERA, 2.21 WHIP).”

    • Ouch. Curious to see how long the Reds are willing to keep those 3 together. Marshall is looking like his arm is dead, the other 2 just cant locate

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