NL Central Power Rankings Week 17

*please note: all stats outside of team records only include games played through 7/26/14.

1. Milwaukee Brewers (last week: 1):

59-47, 1st Place, 464 RS, 435 RA (+29)

The Brewers had another good week. They swept the Reds, and split a four game series against the Mets. The Brewers 5-2 week allowed them to expand their lead in the NL Central to two games.

Brewers MLB batting ranks: 464 Runs (6th), .314 OBP (17th), .415 SLG (5th), 99 wRC+ (11th)

Brewers MLB pitching ranks: 3.72 ERA (13th), 66 QS (2nd), 1.23 WHIP (9th), 3.95 FIP (21st)

Starting Pitchers this week

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Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Mark Reynolds: .368/.400/.895, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 259 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Jonathan Lucroy: .304/.360/.739, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 202 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Ryan Braun: .333/.379/.593, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 171 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Rickie Weeks: .333/.417/.479, 1 RBI, 2 SB, 0.2 WAR
  • Carlos Gomez: .321/.367/.536, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 149 wRC+, 0.4 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Aramis Ramirez: .077/.143/.192, 2 for 26, 4 K, -12 wRC+, -0.3 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:10), Tues (7:10), Wed (12:10) at Tampa Bay
  • Fri (8:15), Sat (7:15), Sun (2:15)

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

56-48, 2.0 GB, 2nd Place, 385 RS, 374 RA (+11)

The Cardinals went just 2-3 this past week, but remain close in the NL Central race. The Cardinals added catcher A.J. Pierzynski (.262/.292/.360, 74 wRC+) to help with the loss of Yadier Molina.

Cardinals MLB batting ranks: 384 R (29th), .317 OBP (14th), .373 SLG (25th), 94 wRC+ (15th)

Cardinals MLB pitching ranks: 3.43 ERA (8th), 54 QS (16th), 1.23 WHIP (10th), 3.47 FIP (4th)

Starting Pitchers this week

cards sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Matt Carpenter: .300/.391/.650, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 192 wRC+, 0.4 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Tony Cruz: .154/.154/.154, 2 for 13, 4 K, -22 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Allen Craig: .100/.250/.200, 1 for 10, 5 K, 37 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Kolten Wong: .214/.267/.214, 3 for 14, 7 K, 38 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (10:10), Wed (10:10), Thurs (3:40) at San Diego
  • Fri (8:15), Sat (7:15), Sun (2:15) at Milwaukee

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (last week: 3):

55-49, 3.0 GB, 3rd Place, 432 RS, 434 RA (-2)

The Pirates went 3-3 this week, taking two of three from the Dodgers, before losing two of three to the Rockies over the weekend. Despite having a run differential of -2, the Pirates are still just 3.0 games back in the NL Central.

Pirates MLB batting ranks: 425 Runs (11th), .332 OBP (1st), .388 SLG (12th), 104 wRC+ (6th)

Pirates MLB pitching ranks: 3.77 ERA (15th), 52 QS (20th), 1.29 WHIP (15th), 4.02 FIP (24th)

Starting Pitchers this week

bucs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Ike Davis: .455/.417/1.000, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 282 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Russell Marin: .500/.700/.500, 4 RBI, 261 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Neil Walker: .333/.440/.667, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 211 wRC+, 0.4 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Gaby Sanchez: .143/.250/.143, 2 for 14, 21 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Jody Mercer: .200/.292/.250, 4 for 20, 45 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
  • Josh Harrison: .227/.261/.273, 5 for 22, 50 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
  • Gregory Polanco: .190/.227/.333, 4 for 21, 56 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Andrew McCutchen: .217/.308/.261, 5 for 23, 6 K, 57 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (10:15), Tues (10:15), Wed (3:45) at San Francisco
  • Thurs (9:40), Fri (9:40), Sat (8:10), Sun (4:10) at Arizona

4. Cincinnati Reds (last week: 4):

52-52, 6.0 GB, 4th Place, 393 RS, 385 RA (+8)

The Reds are off to a miserable start to the second half, going just 1-8. The Reds offense hasn’t scored more than 3 runs in any game in the second half, and have scored an MLB worst 14 runs (2nd worst is the Mets with 20 runs).

Reds MLB batting ranks: 391 Runs (28th), .303 OBP (26th), .379 SLG (20th), 87 wRC+ (27th)

Reds MLB pitching ranks: 3.50 ERA (9th), 64 QS (5th), 1.22 WHIP (8th), 3.91 FIP (20th)

reds sp

Starting Pitchers this week

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Ramon Santiago: .231/.375/.385, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 119 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Zack Cozart: .000/.063/.000, 0 for 15, 3 K, -89 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Jay Bruce: .118/.211/.176, 2 for 17, 7 K, 9 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Brayan Pena: .211/.211/.211, 4 for 19, 9 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Todd Frazier: .095/.174/.238, 7 K, 12 wRC+, -01 WAR
  • Devin Mesoraco: .100/.250/.200, 1 for 10, 5 K, 36 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:10), Tues (7:10), Wed (12:35) vs Arizona
  • Thurs (7:10), Fri (7:10), Sat (7:10), Sun (1:10) at Miami

5. Chicago Cubs (last week: 5):

42-61, 15.5 GB, 5th Place, 397 RS, 447 RA (-50)

The Cubs are off to a tough start to the second half. The Cubs are just 2-7 since the break, and now have a run differential of -50.

Cubs MLB batting ranks: 397 Runs (27th), .298 OBP (29th), .385 SLG (14th), 26 wRC+ (28th)

Cubs MLB pitching ranks: 3.95 ERA (21st), 23 QS (23rd), 1.31 WHIP (18th), 3.51 FIP (6th)

Starting Pitchers this week

cubs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Anthony Rizzo: .333/.462/.762, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 235 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Emilio Bonifacio: .400/.400/.500, 1 SB, 151 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Ryan Sweeney: .267/.313/.667, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 168 wRC+, 0.2 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Starlin Castro: .217/.308/.261, 5 for 23, 4 K, 62 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

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

NL Central Players of the Week

  • Russell Marin, Pirates: .500/.700/.500, 4 RBI, 261 wRC+, 0.5 WAR

  • Matt Garza, Brewers: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0.1 WAR

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! 4 Comments

  1. You know it was a bad week for the Reds, but when you look at their Who’s Hot and Who’s Not columns, nothing more need be said. Absolutely Pitiful !!

    • Yeah, the backups/replacements get a ton of negativity around here (deserved to SOME extent), but the lack of production from the everyday veterans these days is what’s most appalling.

  2. The Reds are in Miami for the 4 away games (Thursday-Sunday)

  3. As a REDS fan, this season has been very difficult, especially when I saw it coming. With BP’s continual decline (despite fantastic defense), Votto’s lack of power, Bruce’s inconstancy, and the reliance on Simon to pitch in the rotation, it has been easy to predict. There is no quick fix that the Reds should trade for THAT WILL NOT DEPLETE THE FARM. I believe the Reds should have let Homer Bailey walk, or at least trade him… not looking like a great deal now is it? Now… for the what the Reds should do, but won’t.

    1) Trade Johnny Cueto. Yes, I know its difficult to lose such a good player. He has been the Red’s ace for several years now, when healthy, but he only has one year left on his contract (after this one) and the Reds will also have Leake and Latos with expiring contracts. If they want to resign them (which i believe should be done with Leake, maybe Latos, depends on $$$), then they need to trade Cueto for prospects. All the David Price speculation will be for naught because the Rays are winning again, and that speculation and interest will transfer to Cueto and the Reds. A year and a half ago, the Rays got Will Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, and Patrick Leanard when they traded James Shield with his expiring contract and Wade Davis to the Royals. Look at a team like Seattle or Toronto (who has a bevy of former Reds teeing off, Juan Francisco, Dioner Navarro, and, of course, Edwin Encarnacion) or even a surprise team like Miami or Chicago. (I would LOVE to deal him to Chicago) Definitely should look to receive two top position prospects along with a high upside arm.

    2) Shop Aroldis Chapman. Now you are about to kill me, I know. But let us be realistic, he is probably the best closer in the game. He has struck out more than half of the batters he has faced this year. MORE THAN HALF! With the Reds championship window closing with this core group of players, Chapman is less valuable on our team, then he would be on a team like San Francisco or Detroit, winning teams that struggle at the end of the bullpen. He will be a free agent in 2017, IF he accepts 5$ player option for 2015 and goes through arbitration in 2016. Yes, he is an absolute, shut the door, dominating Cuban lefty that throws 103mph on a regular basis. But we could get another top prospect and some lower minor league depth for Chapman. Look what the Tigers gave up for Joakim Soria, there #3 and #5 prospects in their system, for a guy that won’t be closing for them unless Joe Nathan continues to struggle. Now what could the Reds get if they traded Chapman? I see San Francisco as a match, although they don’t have as much to offer as other teams, or New York Yankees. Oakland could also be in the mix, but most of these teams don’t have the amount of prospects to pull the best closer in the game from the Reds. Reds should look for a big prospect bat or several high upside arms, or both!

    3) Sign Mike Leake and Mat Latos to contract extensions. Mike Leake reminds me more every 5th day of Bronson Arroyo. He is a dependable 3-4 starter in a good rotation. He would not break the bank (like Votto and Bailey have done) and would provide a good clubhouse presence for the next several years. Mat Latos would be much more difficult. He would push for a contract similar to Baileys (6 years, $105 mil.) but probably more like a 4 year, $75-85 mil. per year. I don’t see the Reds being able to resign both. I think Leake makes more sense for the Reds to keep. With several high upside arms in the system, (Stephenson, Lorenzen, Guillon, Howard) and with many back of the rotation/bullpen guys, The Reds should attempt to resign both, but only signing Latos if it does not kill the Reds payroll for years to come. Pay a player for what they will do, and not what they have already done.

    4) Let Walt Jocketty finish contract (last year now) and let him go. It is time for this era to end, and a new, statistically driven era to begin. Most ideal replacement would be David Forst (age 37) (Assistant GM – Oakland) or Kim Ng (age 46) (Senior Vice-President for Baseball Operations with Major League Baseball). Both would provide a fresh outlook on team management. Both are also younger options than Jocketty (currently 63)

    5) Replace the veterans on the bench and outfield (Ludwick, Schumaker, Santiago, Pena) with younger guys. Same stats, just development. There is no reason for a .500 team in 4th place in division to be playing a bunch of veterans. Either keep them at AAA to play everyday or give them ABs while they are at the MLB level.

    I will stop ranting now, thanks for reading all that, if you did. I will probably think of more things to say later, but this is a start. Please do not just criticize, let us discuss, not argue…..ESPN you can contact me for future journalism opportunities. 🙂

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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