Central Intelligence

Week 11: Cardinals and Pirates move up the power rankings

nl central standings

NL Central Power Rankings Week 11

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

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

37-32, 2nd Place, 3.5 GB, 257 RS, 236 RA (+21)

The Cardinals have won 6 of 7, and are starting to look like the team that most expected to win the NL Central.  During their 6 of 7 win streak, they had four shutouts, and allowed just three runs in their six wins.

The pitching in St. Louis has been tremendous all year, and the true strength of the team.  Their team 3.24 ERA is the fourth best in the MLB, and their 1.17 WHIP is tied for second best in the MLB.  Their starting pitchers 3.08 ERA is the second best in the MLB, and their 1.15 WHIP is tied with the Reds for the best in the MLB.

Starting Pitchers this week

cards sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Jhonny Peralta: .250/.333/.563, 1 HR, 151 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Jon Jay: .357/.400/.357, 122 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Peter Bourjos: .083/.143/.083, 1 for 12, -68 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  • Yadier Molina: .167/.250/.167, 3 for 18, 24 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (8:00), Tues (8:15), Wed (1:45) vs NY Mets
  • Thurs (8:15), Fri (8:15), Sat (4:10), Sun (2:15)

2. Milwaukee Brewers (last week 1):

41-29, 1st Place, 300 RS, 282 RA (+18)

The Brewers lost two of three over the weekend against the Reds, and have continued their mediocre play over the last two and a half months.  Since starting 20-8, the Brewers have gone just 21-21 since.

Ryan Braun is really struggling.  Over the last 14 days, he is hitting just .200/.262/.345 with 14 K and 0.0 WAR.

Kyle Lohse is really having a nice year in the Brewers rotation.  Through 14 starts, he has posted a 3.00 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.  It is hard to get attention in the NL Central as a starter with the seasons that Cueto, Wainwright, Wacha, and Simon have had, but Lohse shouldn’t be forgotten about.

Starting Pitchers this week

brew sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Jonathan Lucroy: .385/.429/.654, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 202 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Scooter Gennett: .412/.444/.588, 1 SB, 189 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Carlos Gomez: .320/.370/.400, 3 RBI, 117 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Jean Segura: .136/.136/.136, 3 for 22, -36 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Ryan Braun: .120/.241/.240, 3 for 25, 9 K, 39 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Mark Reynolds: .188/.278/.188, 3 for 16, 5 K, 35 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (9:40), Tues (9:40), Wed (9:40), Thurs (3:40) at Arizona
  • Fri (8:40), Sat (4:10), Sun (4:10) at Colorado

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (last week: 4):

34-35, 3rd Place, 6.5 GB, 281 RS, 292 RA (-11)\

The Pirates are off to a nice 8-5 start to June, and that is all thanks to their scorching hot offense.  The Pirates lead the MLB with 72 runs scored in the month of June.

Andrew McCutchen had a ridiculously great week, as he was worth an entire win.  He hit .483/.545/1.069, with 4 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB, 343 wRC+, and 1.0 WAR.  For the season, McCutchen has posted a 3.3 WAR (5th in the MLB), 178 wRC+ (2nd in the MLB), and .434 OBP (tied for 2nd in the MLB).

Top prospect Gregory Polanco hasn’t disappointed since he made his debut on Tuesday.  He is hitting .385/.407/.500, with 1 HR, 5 RBI, 160 wRC+, and 0.3 WAR.  The Pirates outfield of McCutchen, Marte, and Polanco is set up to be as good as it gets.

The Pirates pitching has improved dramatically from May to June.  In May, they posted a 4.20 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.  In June, they have posted a much better 3.38 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.

Starting Pitchers this week

Bucs Sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Andrew McCutchen: .483/.545/1.069, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB, 343 wRC+, 1.0 WAR
  • Starling Marte: .452/.469/.645, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 SB, 218 wRC+, 0.6 WAR
  • Gregory Polanco: .385/.407/.500, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 160 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Russell Martin: .350/.409/.450, 3 SB, 147 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Ike Davis: .267/.353/.533, 1 HR, 149 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Gaby Sanchez: .143/.250/.214, 2 for 14, 3 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Pedro Alvarez: .200/.286/320, 5 for 25, 11 K, 61 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (7:05), Wed (7:05), Thurs (12:35) vs Cincinnati
  • Fri (4:05), Sat (7:15), Sun (2:20) at Chicago Cubs

4. Cincinnati Reds (last week: 3):

33-35, 4th Place, 7 GB, 246 RS, 255 RA (-9)

The Reds are finally all healthy for the first time in 2014.  They got Joey Votto and Mat Latos back this week, and both have looked good so far.  The Reds took two of three from the Brewers over the weekend, and it finally looks like this team might be in a position to go on a big winning streak.

Alfredo Simon continues to be one of the biggest surprises in 2014, and after throwing 8.0 innings of 1-run baseball on Thursday, he is showing little signs of slowing down.  Simon’s 2.95 ERA is good for 16th best in the NL, and his 1.09 WHIP is the 9th best.

Todd Frazier is on pace for one of the greatest seasons in Reds history from a third-baseman.  His full season projected stats, and ranks all-time among Reds 3B: 35 HR (3rd), 93 RBI (5th), .862 OPS (5th), .514 SLG (4th).

Starting Pitchers this week

Reds sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Billy Hamilton: .292/.346/.583, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 157 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Zack Cozart: .304/.360/.391, 1 SB, 112 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Joey Votto: .316/.381/.421, 3 RBI, 114 wRC+, 0.1 WAR
  • Jay Bruce: .261/.370/.478, 1 HR, 138 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Skip Schumaker: .118/.118/.176, 2 for 17, -32 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  • Devin Mesoraco: .143/.143/.143, 2 for 14, 7 K, -32 wRC+, -0.2 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (7:05), Wed (7:05), Thurs (12:35) at Pittsburgh
  • Fri (7:10), Sat (4:10), Sun (1:10) vs Toronto

5. Chicago Cubs (last week: 5):

28-39, 11.5 GB, 5th Place, 254 RS, 268 RA (-14)

The biggest story coming from the Cubs this week is that they are listening to offers for starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.  Both pitchers are having strong 2014 seasons, and could certainly help out a contender.

For the actual players that the Cubs plan on building around, Anthony Rizzo is having a tremendous season and should be an All-Star.  Rizzo leads NL 1B in WAR (2.4), and OBP (.408), and is second in HR (13) and third in wRC+ (151).

Starting Pitchers this week

cubs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Luis Valbuena: .440/.462/.720, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 229 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Starlin Castro: .308/.379/.615, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 173 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Anthony Rizzo: .292/.414/.500, 1 HR, 149 wRC+, 0.3 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Junior Lake: .182/.182/.227, 4 for 22, 7 K, 2 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Nate Schierholtz: .130/.167/.261, 3 for 23, 6 K, 7 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Chris Coghlan: .158/.238/.211, 3 for 19, 23 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • John Baker: .167/.211/.167, 3 for 18, 7 K, 0 wRC+, -0.2 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:10), Tues (7:10), Wed (12:40) at Miami
  • Fri (4:05), Sat (7:15), Sun (2:20) vs Chicago Cubs

 

NL Central Players of the Week

  • Andrew McCutchen: .483/.545/1.069, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB, 343 wRC+, 1.0 WAR

  • Jake Arrieta: 13 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 16 K, 1 BB, 0.00 ERA, 0.46 WHIP, 0.7 WAR

See previous players of the week here.

 

6 thoughts on “Week 11: Cardinals and Pirates move up the power rankings

  1. At what point do you stop letting Cueto contend for the “Who’s Hot:” list and just give him his own category of, “Who’s crushing souls this year?”

    I had the chance to see the Pirates in action this week multiple times (MLB.tv) and simply look like a better team than the Reds. Can’t argue with these rankings. However, Votto post-DL looks suspiciously like a healthy Votto; and that can only mean good things for the Redlegs offense.

  2. War just doesnt work well for pitchers. Latos, simon, Bailey, Leake all are .2 war seriously? Dont buy it especially when two of them gave up 5 runs and one gave up zero. Zero runs scored over 6 should be clearly 1 or maybe even 2 above replacement. You mean to tell me that the average pitcher can even pitch 6 shutout innings? I dont think so.

  3. Wainwright has elbow tendinitis igoing to cause him to miss his next start…. This could be a huge game changer for the fate of st. Louis if ithis becomes prolonged.

  4. Anybody see this on ESPN:

    • Reds GM Walt Jocketty continues to look for a bat for the middle of their lineup, with left field being the logical place to upgrade. The possibilities include Ben Zobrist (Rays), Josh Willingham (Twins), Cuddyer (Rockies), Marlon Byrd (Phillies) and even Chris Carter (Astros).

  5. Thinking getting Marlon Byrd at 8 million for 2 years instead of 1 at 750,000 last year is admitting your mistake, so very unlikely.

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