Central Intelligence

Week 10: There is no slowing the Brewers down

NL Central Standings

NL Central Power Rankings Week 10

*please note: all stats outside of team records only include games played through 6/7/14.

1. Milwaukee Brewers (last week 1):

38-26, 1st Place, 277 RS, 253 RA (+24)

The Brewers have won 8 of their last 12 games, and have pushed their lead in the NL Central back up to five games.  Fangraphs still only gives the Brewers a 41.6% chance of winning the NL Central, the exact same chance of winning the division as the Cardinals.

Carlos Gomez gets most of the attention as the Brewers superstar (rightfully so), but Jonathan Lucroy is having a spectacular season.  He is 12th in the MLB in WAR (2.4), and 10th in OBP (.392).  Among catchers, he leads the MLB in WAR (2.4), wRC+ (144), AVG (.327), and SLG (.486).

Francisco Rodriguez has been doing a great job as the Brewers closer (2.17 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 29.0 IP, 33 K, 6 BB, 0.5 WAR), but he has got tremendous help in the bullpen from Will Smith (0.94 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 28.2 IP, 37 K, 13 BB, 0.8 WAR) and Zach Duke (1.50 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 24.0 IP, 32 K, 5 BB).

Starting Pitchers this week

Brew SP

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Scooter Gennett: .381/.458/.667, 1 HR, 205 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Jonathan Lucroy: .375/.407/.625, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 181 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Aramis Ramirez: .357/.400/.571, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 153 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Mark Reynolds: .263/.417/.474, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 152 wRC+, 0.3 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Jean Segura: .207/.250/.207, 6 for 29, 24 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

Brew hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (7:10), Wed (7:10), Thurs (7:10) at NY Mets
  • Fri (8:10), Sat (7:15), Sun (2:10) vs Cincinnati

2. St. Louis Cardinals (last week: 2):

33-31, 2nd Place, 5.0 GB, 243 RS, 227 RA (+16)

The Cardinals did win their games on Saturday and Sunday in Toronto, but have lost 8 of their last 12 games overall.  It has really been the Cardinals offense that has surprisingly let them down in 2014.  Entering Sunday, they rank 23rd in the MLB in runs scored (238), and have the 2nd fewest HR in the MLB (33).  The only team with fewer HR in the MLB are the Royals with 28, but no one else in the MLB has fewer than 42 HR.

The Cardinals already struggling offense has taken another blow by losing Matt Adams to the DL because of a calf injury.

Yadier Molina got off to a hot start to 2014, but has really struggled since.  In the last 14 days, Molina is hitting just .144/.244/.154 with a 7 wRC+, and -0.3 WAR.

It continues to be the Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha show in St. Louis.  Wainwright is tied for 4th in the MLB in WAR (2.5), 7th in ERA (2.31), and 3rd in WHIP (0.9).  Wacha is tied for 15th in the MLB in WAR (1.8), 15th in ERA (2.61), and 12th in WHIP (1.08).

Starting Pitchers this week

Cards SP

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Matt Carpenter: .400/.516/.520, 3 RBI, 199 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Peter Bourjos: .357/.438/.714, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 219 wRC+, 0.4 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Yadier Molina: .143/.182/.143, 3 for 21, -28 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Jhonny Peralta: .148/.207/.259, 4 for 27, 6 K, 17 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Oscar Taveras: .192/.241/.231, 5 for 26, 32 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Allen Craig: .207/.258/.241, 6 for 29, 43 wRC+, -0.2 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

Cards hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (7:10), Wed (7:10) at Tampa Bay
  • Fri (8:15), Sat (7:15), Sun (2:15) vs Washington

3. Cincinnati Reds (last week: 3):

29-32, 3rd Place, 7.5 GB, 213 RS, 229 RA (-16)

The Reds have been a streaky team of late.  Since May 21st, they have a pair of two game winning streaks and a four game winning streak, but have a four game and a three game losing streak.  The reason for these streaks has been their offense.  In their wins since May 21st, the Reds have averaged 4.8 runs.  In losses since May 21st, they have averaged just 1.5 runs.

Todd Frazier is having an absolute monster season so far for the Reds, and I don’t know where they would be without him.  I wrote a piece about Frazier earlier this week here on RN.

The Reds bullpen woes seem to have diminished quite a bit.  The main reason for this seems to be the stabilizing of the back end of the pen with Aroldis Chapman (1.38 ERA, 0.54 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 24 K, 3 BB) and Jonathan Broxton (0.47 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 19.0 IP, 14 K, 5 BB).

Homer Bailey is really looking much better after a tough start to 2014.  In Bailey’s last 8 starts, 7 have been quality starts, and over his last four starts (vs STL, LAD, SF, PHI) he has a 3.00 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.

The Reds should be getting a major boost soon, as Joey Votto and Mat Latos have both started rehab assignments with AAA-Louisville.  Latos said that having to make another rehab start was “bogus” and “I’ll go down and throw 100 fastballs and call it a day” according to John Fay.

Starting Pitchers this week

Reds sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Todd Frazier: .348/.400/.870, 4 HR, 1 SB, 248 wRC+, 0.6 WAR
  • Jay Bruce: .294/.316/.588, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB, 138 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Brayan Pena: .056/.105/.056, 1 for 18, -63 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  • Skip Schumaker: .167/.167/.167, 2 for 12, -18 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Devin Mesoraco: .105/.150/.263, 2 for 19, 6 K, 7 wRC+, -0.2 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

reds hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:00), Tues (7:10), Wed (7:10), Thurs (12:35) vs LA Dodgers
  • Fri (8:10), Sat (7:15), Sun (2:10) at Milwaukee

4. Pittsburgh Pirates (last week: 4):

29-33, 4th Place, 8.0 GB, 246 RS, 266 RA (-20)

The Pirates have lost three of their last four games, but are 10-7 over their last 17 games.  The Pirates took a major hit as their young stud Gerrit Cole was placed on the DL on Sunday.

The Pittsburgh offense is off to a great start to June, as they are hitting .281/.372/.457.  They’ve scored 39 runs (3rd in the MLB), and have an .829 team OPS (3rd in the MLB).

Cincinnati native and Princeton High School graduate Josh Harrison has been a nice surprise for the Pirates.  He is hitting .308/.343/.504 on the season with 4 HR and 1.2 WAR (2nd on the team behind McCutchen).  Harrison has taken over a lot of the playing time in LF for the struggling Starling Marte (.234/.305/.360, 89 wRC+).

Starting Pitchers this week

bucs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Andrew McCutchen: .333/.407/.875, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 250 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Pedro Alvarez: .435/.519/.609, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 222 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Jordy Mercer: .409/.435/.682, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 217 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Josh Harrison: .357/.379/.643, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 185 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Neil Walker: .348/.400/.522, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 164 wRC+, 0.2 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Ike Davis: .000/.231/.000, 0 for 19, 5 K, -6 wRC+, -0.4 WAR
  • Starling Marte: .000/.154/.000, 0 for 11, 5 K, -41 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

bucs hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:05), Tues (7:05), Wed (7:05), Thurs (7:05) vs Chicago Cubs
  • Fri (7:10), Sat (4:10), Sun (1:10) at Miami

5. Chicago Cubs (last week: 5):

25-35, 5th Place, 11.0 GB, 234 RS, 243 RA (-9)

The Cubs had a five game winning streak snapped on Sunday, but have played good baseball of late.  They swept the Mets, and took two of three from the surprisingly good Miami Marlins.

Anthony Rizzo is having a nice year for the Cubs that shouldn’t go unnoticed.  He is hitting .282/.407/.500 with 12 HR, 33 RBI, 149 wRC+, and 2.2 WAR.  Rizzo’s .407 OBP is the 6th best in the MLB.

Starting Pitchers this week

cubs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Anthony Rizzo:.400/.500/.800, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 254 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Chris Coghlan: .333/.500/.833, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 250 wRC+, 0.3 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Emilio Bonifacio: .182/.250/.318, 4 for 22, 41 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
  • Starling Castro: .208/.240/.333, 5 for 24, 5 K, 51 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • John Baker: .000/.083/.000, 0 for 11, 4 K, -100 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  • Mike Olt: .000/.091/.000, 0 for 10, 5 K, -79 wRC+, -0.2 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

cubs hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:05), Tues (7:05), Wed (7:05), Thurs (7:05) at Pittsburgh
  • Fri (7:05), Sat (3:05), Sun (1:35) at Philadelphia

 

NL Central Players of the Week

  • Todd Frazier, Reds: .348/.400/.870, 4 HR, 1 SB, 248 wRC+, 0.6 WAR

  • Jason Hammel, Cubs: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 8 K, 1 BB, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.3 WAR

See previous players of the week here.

6 thoughts on “Week 10: There is no slowing the Brewers down

  1. Nice work Nick! Good info. Man I wish our boy ToddFather could move up in the lineup. I hate watching Schumaker hit 2nd and Todd 6th. Brutal.

  2. Another beautiful summary of the week. Thanks, Nick.

    I do have one complaint though… I wish you would quit making the Reds looks so iffy as a playoff team. With all your accurate reconstructions of how feeble this lineup can be and whatnot… maybe next week you should get blind drunk and have a go at painting a rosy picture of their chances? Maybe they can be “1A, third for real but first in our hearts”?

    • Thanks! I don’t see this team being a real contender for the division title, but the wild card is within reach. They are only 3.0 back at the moment, although Fangraphs still only gives us a 11.0% chance of making the playoffs (Pirates are at 22% (!), which I find a bit surprising). With Votto & Latos returning that should help quite a bit. My biggest worry is that the Reds have to finish with a better record than one of the following to reach the playoffs: Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers. It’s hard to believe the Reds are better than any of those three teams, but one big hot streak could get them there. We will have to see.

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