Central Intelligence

Week 19: The Dog Days of August in the NL Central

NLC

NL Central Power Rankings Week 19

*please note: all stats outside of team records only include games played through 8/9/14

1. Milwaukee Brewers (last week: 2)

65-53, 1st Place, 512 RS, 478 RA (+34)

The Brewers had an impressive week, taking two of three games from both the Giants and the Dodgers. The result was the Brewers increasing their lead in the NL Central to two games.

The Brewers did lose Matt Garza to the DL, and he will be out for a while with a left oblique strain. Garza will be a tough loss for the Brewers, as he leads all Milwaukee pitchers with a 2.2 WAR.

Former Red, Zach Duke is having a nice season for the Brewers. In 44.2 IP, Duke has posted a 2.01 ERA, 2.26 FIP, 1.07 WHIP, 12.09 K/9, 2.82 BB/9, and 0.60 HR/9.

Starting Pitchers this week

brew sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Khris Davis: .308/.357/.846, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 231 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Jonathan Lucroy: .450/.476/.600, 1 BB, 205 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Aramis Ramirez: .480/.480/.520, 5 RBI, 186 wRC+, 0.3 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Mark Reynolds: .125/.167/.313, 2 for 16, 6 K, 22 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Ryan Braun: .182/.280/.318, 4 for 22, 4 K, 68 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

brew hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (8:05), Tues (8:05), Wed (8:05), Thurs (2:20) at Cubs
  • Fri (10:10), Sat (9:10), Sun (4:10) at LA Dodgers

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

62-54, 2nd Place, 2.0 GB, 431 RS, 438 RA (-7)

The Cardinals went 3-3 on the week, but they had some brutal losses on Friday and Saturday in Baltimore. On Friday, the Cardinals lost 12-2 as their newly acquired starter Justin Masterson allowed 5 ER and 7 H, and lasted only 2.0 innings. On Saturday, the Cardinals lost 10-3, as their other new starter John Lackey allowed 9 ER and 13 H in 5.0 IP. Despite the tough weekend, the Cardinals do still hold the first wild card spot.

Jhonny Peralta is really having a tremendous season for the Cardinals. He ranks second among all MLB SS in WAR (3.7), only trailing Troy Tulowitzki (5.1), and is way ahead of the third highest SS, Erick Aybar and Alexi Ramirez (2.9). Peralta is hitting .255/.333/.444, with 15 HR and 120 wRC+.

cards sp

Starting Pitchers this week

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • A.J. Pierzynski: .313/.389/.500, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 156 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Jhonny Peralta: .316/.381/.474, 2 BB, 3 RBI, 144 wRC+, 0.2 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Oscar Taveras: .190/.227/.190, 4 for 21, 6 K, 18 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Kolten Wong: .200/.200/.440, 5 for 25, 5 K, 75 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

cards hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:10), Tues (7:10), Wed (7:10) at Miami
  • Thurs (8:15), Fri (8:15), Sat (7:15), Sun (2:15) vs San Diego

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (last week: 3)

62-55, 3rd Place, 2.5 GB, 490 RS, 481 RA (+9)

The Pirates were able to get to 1.5 games back in the NL Central, and at one point this week held the top wild card spot. After losing the final two games against the Padres, the Pirates finished the week 3-3. The Pirates currently hold the second wild card spot, and are just a half game behind the Cardinals for the first wild card spot.

Josh Harrison seems to be on a mission to prove that his All-Star selection was no fluke. Since the start of the second half, Harrison leads the entire MLB in WAR (1.7). He is also hitting .373/.411/.687 with 5 HR, 7 SB, and an MLB best 208 wRC+.

Andrew McCutchen is reportedly having “remarkable progress” from his injury, and could be back soon. That is great news for Pirates fans.

Starting Pitchers this week

bucs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Josh Harrison: .480/.500/.640, 3 SB, 228 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Russell Martin: .412/.500/.471, 3 BB, 3 RBI, 185 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Starling Marte: .333/.400/.500, 2 BB, 158 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Gregory Polanco: .348/.400/.478, 6 RBI, 143 wRC+, 0.2 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Travis Snider: .133/.235/.133, 2 for 15, -9 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Michael Martinez: .133/.188/.200, 2 for 15, 8 K, 8 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Gaby Sanchez: .182/.182/.273, 2 for 11, 21 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Jayson Nix: .231/.286/.231, 3 for 13, 51 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

bucs hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:05), Tues (7:05) vs Detroit
  • Wed (7:08), Thurs (1:08) at Detroit
  • Fri (7:05), Sat (7:05), Sun (5:05) at Washington

4. Cincinnati Reds (last week: 4)

60-58, 4th Place, 5.0 GB, 450 RS, 420 RA (+30)

The Reds had a pretty good week. They took three of four from Cleveland, winning their first Ohio Cup since 2010 (including ending a 10-game losing streak at Progressive Field). The Reds did however lose two of three over the weekend at home to the Marlins. The Reds may still be five games back in the division, but they are only 2.5 back from the second wild card spot (3.0 back from the first spot).

Homer Bailey is really starting to look like the pitcher the Reds invested $100 million in. Over Bailey’s last 13 starts, he has posted a 2.65 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 75 K, 25 BB. He has been even better in his last 7 starts: 1.61 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 37 K, 14 BB.

Starting Pitchers this week

reds sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Zack Cozart: .280/.333/.560, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, 145 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Kristopher Negron: .304/.360/.522, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, 146 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Todd Frazier: .379/.419/.448, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 147 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Brayan Pena: .500/.533/.571, 1 RBI, 217 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Jay Bruce: .313/.313/.500, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB, 126 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Devin Mesoraco: 304/.360/.391, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 112 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Ramon Santiago: .077/.077/.308, 1 for 13, 3 K, -7 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Skip Schumaker: .214/.313/.214, 3 for 14, 55 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Chris Heisey: .182/.250/.182, 2 for 11, 22 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

reds hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (7:10), Wed (12:35) vs Boston
  • Thurs (8:40), Fri (8:40), Sat (8:10), Sun (4:10) at Colorado

5. Chicago Cubs (last week: 5)

50-66, 5th Place, 14.0 GB, 451 RS, 498 RA (-47)

The Javier Baez show has landed in Wrigley Field. The Cubs called up one of the top, power-hitting prospects, and he hasn’t disappointed. Baez has hit 3 HR in his first six games, including a game winning home run in the 12th inning of his debut on Tuesday against Colorado.

Starting Pitchers this week

cubs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Chris Coghlan: .333/.478/.722, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 227 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Javier Baez: .261/.261/.696, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 163 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Starlin Castro: .364/.391/.545, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 163 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Ryan Sweeney: .357/.438/.357, 2 RBI, 117 wRC+, 0.1 WAR
  • Justin Ruggiano: .357/.400/.429, 136 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Anthony Rizzo: .143/.208/.238, 3 for 21, 5 K, 18 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • John Baker: .100/.100/.100, 1 for 10, -59 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Chris Valaika: .091/.214/.091, 1 for 11, -9 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Arismendy Alcantara: .174/.240/.304, 4 for 23, 7 K, 50 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Luis Valbuena: .174/.280/.250, 2 for 20, 8 K, 58 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Injuries (click to expand)

cubs hurt

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (8:05), Tues (8:05), Wed (8:05), Thurs (2:20) vs Milwaukee
  • Fri (7:10), Sat (7:10), Sun (1:10), Mon (12:10) at NY Mets

 

NL Central Players of the Week

  • Homer Bailey, Reds: 7.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 4 H, 8 K, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0.3 WAR

  • Josh Harrison, Pirates: .480/.500/.640, 3 SB, 228 wRC+, 0.5 WAR

See previous players of the week here.

7 thoughts on “Week 19: The Dog Days of August in the NL Central

    • Way to go, Johnny! He deserves more National attention, but Kershaw is dominating in a big market (and park).

  1. Andrew McCutchen was placed on the DL today and will not be eligible to return until August 19 at the earliest. That is not so great news for Pirate fans esp. with 7 games in a row against first place teams (though the Tigers have been struggling lately).

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