NL Central Power Rankings Week 20

*please note: all stats outside of team records only include games played through 8/16/14.

1. Milwaukee Brewers (last week: 1)

70-55, 1st Place, 539 RS, 495 RA (+44)

The Brewers reached 70 wins on Sunday, and are now just four wins away from reaching their total wins from last season (went 74-88). The Brewers completed an impressive three game sweep over the Dodgers in Los Angles over the weekend.

The Brewers starting rotation has taken a major blow of late. Matt Garza was already placed on the DL, but Kyle Lohse will also now have to skip his next start. The good news for the Brewers is that it may have come at a good time, as they have two off days this week.

Starting Pitchers this week

brew sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Scooter Gennett: .353/.389/.471, 5 RBI, 141 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Mark Reynolds: .211/.286/.526, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 112 wRC+, 0.1 WAR
  • Aramis Ramirez: .304/.360/.391, 2 BB, 101 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Jean Segura: .154/.267/.154, 2 for 13, 25 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Jonathan Lucroy: .148/.233/.259, 4 for 27, 4 K, 35 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Carlos Gomez: .179/.233/.321, 5 for 28, 4 K, 52 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Ryan Braun: .208/.240/.333, 5 for 24, 8 K, 56 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (8:10), Wed (2:10) vs Toronto
  • Fri (8:10), Sat (7:10), Sun (2:10) vs Pittsburgh

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

66-57, 2nd Place, 3.0 GB, 461 RS, 469 (-8)

The Cardinals have won four of their last five games, and still sit within striking distance in the NL Central race, at 3.0 games back. The Cardinals got good starts from new additions Justin Masterson and John Lackey this week, with each pitcher going seven strong innings.

Jon Jay is really having a terrific second half for the Cardinals. Since the All-Star break, Jay leads the Cardinals in WAR (1.1), and is hitting .362/.472/.534 with a 191 wRC+. For the season, Jay is hitting .302/.372/.400 with a 119 wRC+.

Starting Pitchers this week

cards sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Jon Jay: .529/.692/.824, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 320 wRC+, 0.8 WAR
  • Jhonny Peralta: .393/.414/.571, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 182 wRC+, 0.5 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • A.J. Pierzynski: .250/.250/.250, 4 for 16, 3 K, 38 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Matt Holliday: .185/.290/.259, 5 for 27, 62 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (8:15), Tues (8:15), Wed (7:15) vs Cincinnati
  • Fri (7:05), Sat (7:05), Sun (1:35) at Philadelphia

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (last week: 3)

64-60, 3rd Place, 5.5 GB, 523 RS, 517 (+6)

Entering play on Wednesday, the Pirates were just 1.5 games back in the NL Central, and had control of the first wild card spot. Since then, the Pirates have lost five straight games. They are now 5.5 back in the division, and are 1.5 games out of the second wild card spot.

The Pirates really had a tough series over the weekend in Washington. All three losses to the Nationals came by just one run. On Saturday night, the Pirates blew a 3-0 lead entering the 8th inning, and on Sunday, they blew a 5-4 lead in the 9th, eventually losing 6-5 in 11 innings.

The Pirates could get a big boost this week, as both McCutchen and Cole could return from the DL.

Starting Pitchers this week

bucs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Travis Snider: .385/.448/.846, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 263 wRC+, 0.6 WAR
  • Starling Marte: .360/.448/.640, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 209 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Jordy Mercer: .400/.550/.600, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 228 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Ike Davis: .308/.500/.615, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 216 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Gaby Sanchez: .417/.417/.750, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 235 wRC+, 0.2 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Jayson Nix: .050/.095/050, 1 for 20, -62 wRC+, -0.4 WAR
  • Pedro Alvarez: .167/.167/.222, 3 for 18, 11 K, 2 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Gregory Planco: .160/.250/.320, 4 for 25, 5 K, 64 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
  • Josh Harrison: .207/.258/.310, 6 for 29, 62 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (7:05), Tues (7:05), Wed (7:05) vs Atlanta
  • Fri (8:10), Sat (7:10), Sun (2:10) at Milwaukee

4. Cincinnati Reds (last week: 4)

61-63, 4th Place, 8.5 GB, 476 RS, 457 RA (+19)

The Reds had a terrible week going 1-5. They now find themselves 4.5 games back from a wildcard spot, and 8.5 GB in the NL Central. The Reds had a devastating loss in the first game of a double-header on Sunday, as Aroldis Chapman and J.J. Hoover blew a 4-run, 9th inning lead.

Kristopher Negron has been a very pleasant surprise for the Reds. Negron has only posted a .687 OPS in 900+ games in the minors, but has hit .288/.325/.507 with 4 HR, 11 RBI, 131 wRC+, and 1.0 WAR in 78 PA in the big leagues. Negron can play every position except Catcher, and may have proved why he should be on the Reds roster next season.

The Reds had a major blow this week, as they lost Homer Bailey to the DL. The Reds could however get Brandon Phillips back in the lineup on Monday, which would be a nice help to the struggling Reds offense.

Starting Pitchers this week

reds sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Devin Mesoraco: .353/.429/.824, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 231 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Kristopher Negron: .316/.350/.421, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 114 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Ramon Santiago: .333/.429/.333, 2 BB, 1 RBI, 124 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Brayan Pena: .154/.154/.154, 2 for 13, -25 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Jay Bruce: .150/.227/.300, 3 for 20, 47 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Todd Frazier: .176/.250/.235, 3 for 17, 34 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Billy Hamilton: .190/.261/.190, 4 for 21, 29 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

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

5. Chicago Cubs (last week: 5)

53-70, 5th Place, 16.0 GB, 468 RS, 520 RA (-52)

Javier Baez has had an up and down first two weeks, but overall he has to have Cubs fans encouraged about the future. Baez is hitting .236/.263/.491 with 4 HR. One concern about Baez certainly has to be that he has 22 K, to just 2 BB.

The NY Daily News believes that an off-season trade between the Mets and Cubs is inevitable.

Starting Pitchers this week

cubs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Wellington Castillo: .333/.429/.556, 1 HR, 178 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Starlin Castro: .357/.379/.393, 2 RBI, 118 wRC+, 0.1 WAR
  • Anthony Rizzo: .231/.300/.500, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 117 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Luis Valbuena: .059/.111/.059, 1 for 17, 5 K, -59 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  • Arismendy Alcantara: .111/.143/.148, 3 for 27, 9 K, -27 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Chris Coughlan: .179/.207/.357, 5 for 28, 7 K, 48 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Chris Valaika: .200/.200/.200, 3 for 15, 6 K, 3 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Javier Baez: .233/.233/367, 7 for 30, 10 K, 61 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (8:05), Wed (8:05), Thurs (8:05) vs San Francisco
  • Fri (2:20), Sat (2:20), Sun (2:20) vs Baltimore

NL Central Players of the Week

  • Mike Fiers, Brewers: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 14 K, 1 BB, 0 ER, 0.67 WHIP, 0.00 ERA, 0.5 WAR

  • Jon Jay, Cardinals: .529/.692/.824, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 320 wRC+, 0.8 WAR

See previous players of the week here.

One Response

  1. Phillip Borden

    How soon until the Cubs move up to 4th in the power rankings?