NLC

NL Central Power Rankings Week 24

*please note: all stats outside of team records only include games played through 9/13/14.

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

The Cardinals continue to hold a comfortable lead in the NL Central, but the Pirates aren’t going away. The good news for the Cardinals is that they don’t have any head to head meetings left with Pittsburgh.

The Cardinals will play three games against Milwaukee to begin the week, and all the Cardinals need to do is avoid getting swept to basically put the Brewers away for good.

The big news out of St. Louis this week was that Michael Wacha’s start on Sunday was skipped. Wacha got beat up by the Reds earlier in the week (4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 5 ER). It is unclear at this point if Wacha will be a part of the Cardinals postseason rotation or not.

Starting Pitchers this week

cards sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Matt Holliday: .381/.480/.667, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 4 BB, 223 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Matt Carpenter: .280/.400/.440, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 143 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Jhonny Peralta: .273/.360/.455, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 133 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Oscar Taveras: .375/.375/.438, 3 RBI, 130 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Yadier Molina: .238/.261/.286, 5 for 21, 5 K, 50 wRC+, 0.0 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (8:00), Wed (8:15), Thurs (8:15) vs Milwaukee
  • Fri (8:15), Sat (7:15), Sun (8:00) vs Cincinnati

2. Pittsburgh Pirates (last week: 2)

The Pittsburgh Pirates +34 is by far the best run differential in the NL Central (Cardinals are next at +10). The Pirates have won 8 of 10, and have a 1.5 game lead for the second wild card spot.

The Cardinals are still 3.5 games ahead of the Pirates in the division, and the Giants are still 3.0 games ahead of them for the first wild card spot. It would take an incredible final two weeks from the Pirates for them to avoid traveling somewhere to play in the do-or-die wild card game again.

Starting Pitchers this week

bucs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Starling Marte: .500/.571/.889, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 308 wRC+, 0.6 WAR
  • Andrew McCutchen: .414/.469/.690, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 229 wRC+, 0.6 WAR
  • Jordy Mercer: .393/.433/.643, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 200 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Russell Martin: .417/.423/.625, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 192 wRC+, 0.5 WAR
  • Travis Snider: .294/.455/.529, 1 HR, 5 BB, 183 wRC+, 0.3 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Ike Davis: .083/.077/.083, 1 for 12, 7 K, -67 wRC+, -0.3 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (7:05), Wed (7:05), Thurs (7:05) vs Boston
  • Fri (7:05), Sat (7:05), Sun (1:35) vs Milwaukee

3. Milwaukee Brewers (last week: 3)

Brewers got into a scuffle against the Marlins on Thursday. Brewers starting pitcher Michael Fiers hit Giancarlo Stanton in the left eye with a pitch. Stanton had facial lacerations requiring stitches, multiple facial fractures, and dental damage. After Fiers hit the next batter, Reed Johnson, a scuffle between the two teams followed.

Myself and Steve Macuso wrote about the Brewers collapse on Friday here on RN. The Brewers division chances are very slim (5.0 back), but they are still alive and well in the wild card race (1.5 behind the Pirates for the second spot). The Brewers will have a huge three game series in Pittsburgh this weekend.

Starting Pitchers this week

brew sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Carlos Gomez: .333/.462/.476, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 1 SB, 169 wRC+, 0.4 WAR
  • Jean Segura: .400/.471/400, 2 BB, 2 SB, 152 wRC+, 0.2 WAR
  • Aramis Ramirez: .280/.357/.480, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 134 wRC+, 0.2 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Khris Davis: .118/.211/.118, 2 for 17, 4 K, -5 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Gerardo Parra: .263/.300/.263, 5 for 19, 4 K, 42 wRC+, -0.1 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tues (8:00), Wed (8:15), Thurs (8:15) at St. Louis
  • Fri (7:05), Sat (7:05), Sun (1:35) at Pittsburgh

4. Cincinnati Reds (last week: 4)

The Reds seemed to embrace the spoiler role well, as the Reds began the week by taking three of four against the Cardinals. The Reds “elimination number” in the NL Central is now 1 (meaning 1 Reds loss or 1 Cardinals win eliminates the Reds from the division).

Mat Latos was scratched from his start on Friday night with a bone bruise in his right elbow. It just adds to the stockpile of injuries the Reds have dealt with this season.

Starting Pitchers this week

reds sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Devin Mesoraco: .222/.440/.500, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 BB, 158 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Brandon Phillips: .333/.462/.429, 4 BB, 4 RBI, 158 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Ryan Ludwick: .308/.357/.538, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 151 wRC+, 0.1 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Billy Hamilton: .125/.192/.208, 3 for 24, 7 K, 8 wRC+, -0.1 WAR
  • Jay Bruce: .190/.182/.333, 4 for 21, 4 K, 32 wRC+, -0.2 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (8:05), Tues (8:05), Wed (8:05) at Chicago Cubs
  • Fri (8:05), Sat (7:15), Sun (8:05) at St. Louis

5. Chicago Cubs (last week: 5)

The Cubs had their 7-game losing streak snapped on Saturday. The Cubs have officially been eliminated from the NL Central in 2014. There is always next year, right Chicago?

Starting Pitchers this week

cubs sp

Who’s Hot (last 7 days)

  • Matt Szczur: .455/.500/.818, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 268 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Wellington Castillo: .400/.409/.500, 3 RBI, 149 wRC+, 0.3 WAR
  • Mike Olt: .300/.391/.400, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 126 wRC+, 01 WAR

Who’s Cold (last 7 days)

  • Logan Watkins: .000/.077/.000, 0 for 12, -80 wRC+, -0.2 WAR
  • Chris Coghlan: .182/.217/.227, 4 for 22, 7 K, 20 wRC+, -0.2 WAR

Upcoming Schedule

  • Mon (8:05), Tues (8:05), Wed (8:05) vs Cincinnati
  • Thurs (8:05), Fri (2:20), Sat (1:05), Sun (2:20) vs LA Dodgers

NL Central Players of the Week

  • Francisco Liriano, Pirates: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 12 K, 2 BB, 0.75 WHIP, 0.00 ERA, 0.4 WAR

  • Starling Marte, Pirates: .500/.571/.889, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 308 wRC+, 0.6 WAR

3 Responses

  1. chezpayton

    What’s night year for the cubs?

  2. George Mirones

    Something to think about;
    The opening day pitching staff for 2015, based on what we have now, and the combined thinking (trading Latos, Cueto, Bailey, Chapman and DFA; Hoover, Ondrusek, LeCure, Para) of the many commenters, would be the following;
    Starters;
    Leake
    Holmberg
    Corcino
    Cingrani
    Iglesias

    Relief;
    Simon
    Diaz
    Contreras
    Marshall
    Villarreal
    Dennick
    Axelrod
    12 Pitchers total

    Think about it.
    Just how many 150 wRC+ “bats” would the Reds need to overcome the pitching staff?

  3. WhereRUKlu

    As much as I have hated the Cards in the past, at this point since the Reds are out of it, I am rooting for anybody but the Brew. I hate that team now more than the Cards, who as time goes, is starting to break my “hate” mode against them. I prefer the Buccos but not sure they can match up with the Cards. Braun should have already been banned, and Gomez is such a hothead hotdog. I don’t care if both were hitting over .400 I wouldn’t want them playing on my team. Braun, McGuire, and Bonds are still in baseball, but Pete is out? A Selig failure.