nl central standings

NL Central Power Rankings Week 4

*please note: all stats outside of team records only include games played through 4/26/14.

1. Milwaukee Brewers (last week 1): 18-7, 1st Place, 101 RS, 79 RA (+22)

Everyone in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Chicago keep waiting for the Brewers to slow down.  They haven’t, and they are showing little signs of slowing down anytime soon.  The Brewers are an incredible 9-1 on the road to start 2014.  The Brewers are 13-0 when leading after the 6th inning, and have seven come from behind victories.

The Brewers do lead the NL Central with 101 runs scored, but the story of this team is their pitching.  The Brewers team 2.52 ERA ranks 2nd in the MLB (only behind the Atlanta’s incredible 2.14), and their 1.03 WHIP leads the MLB.  The Brewers have an MLB best 19 Quality Starts (tied with Atlanta and Oakland), and lead the MLB with a 3.77 K/BB.  The Brewers pitching was great over the last week, posting a 2.28 ERA and an MLB best 0.90 WHIP.

Carlos Gomez received a 3-game suspension (which he is appealing), and Martin Maldonado received a 5-game suspension for their actions in last Sunday’s brawl against the Pirates.

Jean Segura was inadvertently hit by bat from teammate Ryan Braun on Saturday.  He isn’t expected to have to go on the disabled list.

Every player in the Brewers everyday starting lineup except for Jean Segura has been above average.  The Brewers are the only team in the MLB to have 7 players with a 100+ OPS+.

Rk Pos HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1 C Jonathan Lucroy 1 8 0.317 0.385 0.463 0.848 136
2 1B Mark Reynolds 5 8 0.215 0.282 0.477 0.759 107
3 2B Scooter Gennett* 1 8 0.313 0.352 0.448 0.800 122
4 SS Jean Segura 1 5 0.239 0.272 0.330 0.601 67
5 3B Aramis Ramirez 3 18 0.292 0.337 0.416 0.752 109
6 LF Khris Davis 3 7 0.265 0.291 0.446 0.736 102
7 CF Carlos Gomez 5 13 0.299 0.361 0.557 0.918 152
8 RF Ryan Braun 6 18 0.318 0.361 0.591 0.952 160

Brewers Staring Pitchers this week:

Name IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP WAR
Kyle Lohse 7.0 5 1 0 5 1.29 0.71 0.3
Yovani Gallardo 7.0 5 1 2 4 1.29 1.00 0.1
Matt Garza 7.0 4 2 1 7 2.57 0.71 0.4
Marco Estrada 13.2 10 4 0 13 2.63 0.73 0.1
Wily Peralta 6.1 6 2 1 6 2.84 1.11 0.1

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Brewers Bullpen: 0.86 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 21.0 IP, 27 K, 5 BB
  • Khris Davis: .348/.348/.783, 3 HR, 218 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Ryan Braun: .391/.464/.565, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 175 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Scooter Gennett: .348/.375/.609, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 175 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Lyle Overbay: .600/.667/.900, 1 HR, 340 wRC+, 0.4 WAR (6 for 10)
  • Kyle Lohse: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1.29 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 0.3 WAR
  • Yovani Gallardo: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.1 WAR
  • Matt Garza: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2.57 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 0.4 WAR
  • Marco Estrada: 13.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 13 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Jonathan Lucroy: .238/.304/.238, 42 wRC+, -0.1 WAR (5 for 23)

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (8:15), Tues (8:15), Wed (1:45) at St. Louis
  • Thurs (7:10), Fri (7:10), Sat (7:10), Sun (4:10) at Cincinnati

2. St. Louis Cardinals (last week: 2): 14-12, 2nd Place, 4.5 GB, 89 RS, 78 RA (+11)

The Cardinals did take two of three over the weekend, but they haven’t played their best baseball of the season as of late.  They lost three of four to the Mets to begin the week, and are now just 5-7 in their last 12 games.

The St. Louis offense has really struggled.  Cardinals beat writer Joe Strauss shared on twitter that the Cards are averaging 3.28 runs, the lowest for any month since July 1992 (2.74 rpg). Only 2 other months since then below 3.50 rpg.  Over the last 7 days, the Cardinals .288 OBP ranks 27th in the MLB, and their .277 SLG is dead last in the MLB.

To say the least, the Cardinals pitching has carried them to this point in the season.  Adam Wainwright (1.46 ERA, 0.81 WHIP) and Michael Wacha (2.10 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) have been absolutely terrific.  Their team 2.88 ERA ranks 4th in the MLB, and their 1.15 WHIP ranks 3rd.

The two main positives for the Cardinals offensively have been Yadier Molina (.345/.374/.517, 154 wRC+, 1.0 WAR) and Matt Adams (.330/.351/.451, 130 wRC+, 0.5 WAR).  While on the other side of the spectrum, Allen Craig (.174/.222/.239, 30 wRC+, -0.7 WAR), and Jhonny Peralta (.175/.267/.388, 87 wRC+) are off to horrible starts.  Jon Jay (.283/.356/.415, 120 wRC+) has started in 7 of the last 10 games, and has taken the bulk of the playing time in CF over the struggling Peter Bourjos (.163/.241/.265, 45 wRC+).

Cardinals Starting Pitchers this week

Name IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP WAR
Adam Wainwright 7.0 4 0 0 3 0.00 0.57 0.2
Shelby Miller 11.0 7 0 9 11 0.00 1.45 0.1
Lance Lynn 6.1 4 2 2 9 2.84 0.95 0.1
Tyler Lyons 12.0 10 6 5 11 4.50 1.25 0.2
Michael Wacha 4.0 3 2 5 10 4.50 2.00 0.2

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Yadier Molina: .348/.375/.435, 1 HR, 134 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Matt Holliday: .318/.423/.409, 3 RBI, 146 wRC+, 0.1 WAR
  • Adam Wainwright: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 0.2 WAR
  • Lance Lynn, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 2.84 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 0.1 WAR
  • Shelby Miller: 11.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 9 BB, 11 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Allen Craig: .172/.172/.207, 0 wRC+, -0.3 WAR, 6 K, 0 BB, (5 for 29)
  • Jhonny Peralta: .150/.292/.250, 64 wRC+, (3 for 24)
  • Mark Ellis: .077/.200/.077, -11 wRC+, -0.1 WAR, (1 for 13)
  • Kolten Wong: .167/.167.167, -13 wRC+, -0.1 WAR, (2 for 12)
  • Peter Bourjos: .000/.182/.000, -29 wRC+, -0.1 WAR, (0 for 11)
  • Carlos Martinez: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 7.71 ERA, 2.57 WHIP

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (8:15), Tues (8:15), Wed (1:45) vs. Milwaukee
  • Fri (2:20), Sat (1:05), Sun (8:00) at Chicago Cubs

3. Cincinnati Reds (last week: 3): 11-14, 3rd Place, 7.0 GB, 95 RS, 82 RA (+13)

The Reds rolled into Atlanta this weekend, winners in 7 of their last 9 games.  After taking three of four from the Pirates, the Reds were at the .500 mark (11-11) for the first time in 2014.  That .500 mark didn’t last long, as the Reds got swept in Atlanta by the Braves.

The Reds have outscored their opponents 95-82 this season, but are still three games below .500.  This is largely in part to the Reds 2-10 record in 1-run games this season.

The Cincinnati offense had finally got going after a slow start.  Between April 13-23, the Reds scored at least 4 runs in 10 straight games.  That was their longest streak of 4+ runs since 2007 (when they scored 4+ runs in 17 consecutive games), and just the second time they had scored 4+ runs in 10 or more games since 1988.  The Reds however scored just 8 runs in the their last 4 games, being dominated in three games by the Braves (who have an MLB best 2.14 ERA).

The Reds had a major blow to their offense when Devin Mesoraco strained his left hamstring on Friday night in Atlanta.  Mesoraco was placed on the DL, but he doesn’t think he will miss all that much time.  Mesoraco was hitting an incredible .468/.509/.787 with three home runs in his 13 games.

The Reds have gotten unbelievably good starting pitching from Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon.  Cueto’s 1.15 ERA and 0.77 WHIP are the best in Reds history in March/April of any pitcher with 40.0+ IP.  Cueto’s 50 strikeouts broke Aaron Harang’s record of 41 for the most ever in Reds history in March/April.  Alfredo Simon has been just as impressive.  The guy was supposed to just be a fill-in starter, but has posted a 1.30 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.  Here is where Johnny Cueto ranks among MLB pitchers all-time in March/April with 47.0+ IP:

  1. Randy Johnson 0.91 (2000)
  2. Jim Palmer 0.96 (1977)
  3. Greg Maddux 1.12 (1994)
  4. Johnny Cueto 1.15 (2014)

Reds Starting Pitchers this week

Name IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP WAR
Johnny Cueto 9.0 3 1 3 4 1.00 0.67 0.0
Tony Cingrani 6.0 6 1 2 7 1.50 1.33 0.2
Alfredo Simon 6.2 4 2 5 4 2.70 1.35 -0.1
Homer Bailey 12.0 15 5 3 12 3.75 1.50 0.2
Mike Leake 14.0 16 8 1 6 5.14 1.21 -0.2

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Todd Frazier: .400/.500/.600, 214 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Devin Mesoraco: .400/500/.500, 3 RBI, 191 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Jay Bruce: .296/.367/.481, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 140 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Johnny Cueto: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP
  • Tony Cingrani: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 0.2 WAR
  • Sam LeCure: 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.30 WHIP, 0.1 WAR
  • Nick Christiana: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Brandon Phillips: .233/.258/.300, 1 BB, 8 K, 52 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
  • Billy Hamilton: .231/.250/.269, 0 BB, 6 K, 40 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
  • Manny Parra: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 16.20 ERA, 4.80 WHIP

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:10), Tues (7:10), Wed (7:10) vs. Cubs
  • Thurs (7:10), Fri (7:10), Sat (7:10), Sun (4:10) vs. Brewers

4. Pittsburgh Pirates (last week: 4): 10-16, 4th Place, 8.5 GB, 96 RS, 104 RA (-8)

The Pirates are really struggling.  They are just 4-13 in their last 17 games.  The Pirates offense is really struggling.  They are 26th in the MLB in the last 7 days in both runs scored (25) and OPS (.585).

The injuries are starting to pile up for the Bucs too.  Jason Grilli and Russel Martin were both placed on the DL in the last week, joining Wandy Rodriguez.  Francisco Liriano had to leave a start on Saturday with dizziness.

The real black hole for the Pirates offense has been the SS position.  Jordy Mercer is hitting .175/.232/.190, with a 11 wRC+ and a -0.2 WAR.  The Pirates backup, Clint Barmes has been even worse, hitting .154/.214/.254, with a 6 wRC+ and a -0.2 WAR.

Pirates Starting Pitchers this week

Name IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP WAR
Gerrit Cole 15.0 12 2 4 10 1.20 1.07 0.1
Edinson Volquez 7.0 5 2 1 3 2.57 0.86 0.2
Brandon Cumpton 7.0 4 2 1 5 2.57 0.71 0.1
Francisco Liriano 9.0 9 4 4 6 4.00 1.44 0.1
Charlie Morton 6.0 4 3 5 4 4.50 1.50 0.0

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Andrew McCutchen: .385/.500/.769, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 253 wRC+, 0.7 WAR
  • Gerrit Cole: 15.0 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K, 1.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 0.1 WAR
  • Edinson Volquez: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2.57 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 0.2 WAR
  • Brandon Cumpton: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2.57 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 0.1 WAR
  • Mark Melancon: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Starling Marte: .143/.200/.143, 1 BB, 8 K, -1 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Pedro Alvarez: .190/.261/.238, 45 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Ike Davis: .143/.200/.286, 57 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (7:05), Wed (7:05) at Baltimore
  • Fri (7:05), Sat (7:05), Sun (1:35) vs. Toronto

5. Chicago Cubs (last week: 5): 8-16, 5th Place 9.5 GB, 88 RS, 101 RA (-13)

The Cubs were able to end a 4-game losing streak on Sunday by beating the Brewers 4-0.  The Cubs have still yet to win a series in 2014, although they did split a 4-game series with Arizona early last week.

The best gauge of the Chicago Cubs season thus far was Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks.  The Cubs were celebrating the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, and took a 5-2 lead going into the 9th inning.  The Cubs allowed 5 runs in the top of the 9th, and lost 7-5.

The Cubs entered Sunday ranked 25th in the MLB in runs scored (84), 26th in average (.230), 27th in OBP (.294), and 27th in SLG (.347).  The Cubs offense has been flat out brutal thus far in 2014.  The Cubs overall pitching hasn’t been all that much better, posting a 3.96 ERA (18th in the MLB), and a 1.34 WHIP (21st in the MLB).

The true bright spot on the Cubs has been Jeff Samardzija.  He has posted a 1.53 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, while striking out 27 batters and walking just 9.

Cubs Starting Pitchers this week

Name IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP WAR
Jason Hammel 7.0 4 1 0 4 1.29 0.57 0.1
Jeff Samardzija 7.1 7 2 2 5 2.45 1.23 0.2
Edwin Jackson 7.0 5 3 2 4 3.86 1.00 0.2
Travis Wood 12.2 13 6 3 12 4.26 1.26 0.1
Carlos Villanueva 9.2 20 10 2 8 9.31 2.28 0.2

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Emilio Bonifacio: .273/.360/.409, 1 SB, 116 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Jason Hammel: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1.29 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 0.1 WAR
  • Jeff Samardzija: 7.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 0.2 WAR
  • Wesley Wright: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Starling Casto: .222/.276/.259, 48 wRC+, -0.1 WAR (6 for 27)
  • Nate Schierholtz: .174/.167/.217, 0 BB, 11 K, -9 wRC+, -0.3 WAR (3 for 20)
  • Mike Olt: .158/.200/.316, 37 wRC+, -0.1 WAR (3 for 19)
  • Carlos Villanueva: 9.2 IP, 20 H, 10 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 9.31 ERA, 2.28 WHIP
  • Jose Veras: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 BB, 22.50 ERA, 3.50 WHIP, -0.2 WAR

Players of the Week

  • Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: .385/.500/.769, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 253 wRC+, 0.7 WAR
  • Johnny Cueto, Reds: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP

See previous players of the week here.

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 15 Comments

  1. As someone whos work schedule has seriously cut into my baseball viewing time, I just want to say ‘thank you’ for these summaries. These are as good as I have read and gives a great snapshot of what is happening. Concise, yet thorough.

    • I’ll echo the comment from Preach and expand to include all the weekly features included in the new and improved RLN. Also Kudos for the addition of ‘Recent Posts’ and expanded ‘Recent Comments’ in the sidebar. I just wish that someone would do something with that aggravating overwriting in the comment box. The Old Cossack has enough trouble with typos and grammar without the obstructed typing.

    • Wow, thank you so much. That is so nice of you to say, and is greatly appreciated!

  2. Great summaries

    Is Phillips still hurt? or, just no longer an RBI guy?

  3. This upcoming series against the Cubbies may not be the cure for what ails us, but hopefully will provide some needed relief from some of the symptoms.

  4. This may be the week the Brewers come back to earth with both the Cards and Reds playing them. Or it might validate them as the king of the NLC.
    Many teams are not doing as they had expected, same as the Reds. The Rays have the same 11-14 record. The Indians too. Seattle and the Cano purchase are 10-14. And look at what has happened to Arizona after two big trades in the winter and a free agent signing, sitting there at 8-20.
    Too early to panic. But its not too early to start looking at other options for 2-3 positions on the Reds though.

  5. Wish the Reds had a would be Scooter Gennett to outperform their multi-million dollar second basemen. That sounds harsher than I mean it… but I admire the guts the Brewers had in letting Gennett take the job away from Weeks despite the contractual disparity. Wish the Reds had somebody ready to take a job, ready to rise.

    • While we’re wishing, wouldn’t it be more effective to wish for a good fielding SS that could at least above the Mendoza?

  6. For those who take pleasure in the suffering of others, here’s a brand new article from FanGraphs about how the Cardinals’ offense stinks, just as Nick says here. In it, they call Allen Craig “baseball’s very worst player” (silly use of the word ‘very’ but since it’s the Cards, why not extra oomph). Best of all, it doesn’t have a happy ending.

    • I don’t take pleasure in the suffering of others, unless it’s the Cardinals. Thanks for sharing. Noticed in the comments section they are talking about Nick Franklin. I guess it’s contagious.

Comments are closed.

About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

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