Central Intelligence

Week 3: Cubs continue early season dominance

Chicago Cubs 14-5
St. Louis Cardinals 10-8 3.5 GB
Pittsburgh Pirates 10-9 4.0 GB
Cincinnati Reds 9-10 5.0 GB
Milwaukee Brewers 8-11 6.0 GB

Chicago Cubs

arrieta

The Cubs just continue to roll. Their 14-5 record equals their best start in 47 years. The Cubs took 3 of 4 over the weekend against the Reds in Cincinnati. In the three wins, the Cubs outscored the Reds 33-1. Yes, 33-1.

Jake Arrieta threw his second no-hitter on Thursday night in Cincinnati during a 16-0 win. It was the most lopsided win during a no-hitter since 1884. Arrieta has a 0.84 ERA through his first four starts of 2016.

Dexter Folwer continues to lead all MLB players in fWAR (2.0). Fowler is hitting .385/.506/.692 on the season.


Milwaukee Brewers

bruan

The Brewers have lost 3 of their last 4 games, and find themselves in the basement of the NL Central. The Brewers pitching has been a disaster so far in 2016. The Brewers are dead last in the MLB in ERA (5.81) and FIP (5.67).

Chris Carter is looking like a good pickup for the Brewers, and maybe a player they can flip at the deadline. Carter has 5 home runs and a 155 wRC+. Ryan Braun’s stock is also rising, as he is off to a hot start. Braun is hitting .355/.429/.597 with 4 home runs and a 169 wRC+.


Pittsburgh Pirates

jason

The Pirates started a 10-game west coast road trip on Tuesday. It didn’t get off to a great start, as they lost the first two games in San Diego. The Pirates did go on to win the final game of that series before taking 2 of 3 over the weekend against the Diamondbacks.

The Pirates pitching continues to struggle, but their offense has been great. The Pirates are 22nd in team ERA (4.38), but are 3rd in wRC+ (118). Gregory Polanco is starting to put it together for the Pirates, as he leads in the team in fWAR (1.2), and is hitting .295/.413/.475 with a 143 wRC+. Newly acquired John Jason has been terrific as the Pirates leadoff hitter, as he has a .420 OBP with a 148 wRC+.

Jung ho-Kang could be back soon for the Pirates. He started his rehab assignment on April 20th.


St. Louis Cardinals

Aledmys+Diaz+St+Louis+Cardinals+v+San+Diego+lGy_NO5yFtjl

The Cardinals began the week by losing 2 of 3 in St. Louis to the Cubs. The Cardinals offense only scored 1 run in the first two games of the series. The Cardinals went to San Diego for the weekend, and took 2 of 3 from the Padres. The Cardinals scored 19 runs in the final two games of the series.

The Cardinals offense has been hit or miss at times, but overall they have been very good. They are 2nd in the MLB in wRC+ (124). The Cardinals are being lead by their young shortstop Aledmys Diaz. He is hitting .467/.500/.822 with a 250 wRC+. Diaz has already scored 12 runs in 15 games.


 Nick’s Power Rankings

  1. Chicago Cubs

  2. St. Louis Cardinals

  3. Pittsburgh Pirates

  4. Cincinnati Reds

  5. Milwaukee Brewers

(all teams remained in the same spot)


Players of the Week

Pitcher: Jake Arrieta, Cubs: 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K, 3.07 FIP, 0.2 fWAR

Batter: Ryan Braun, Brewers: .524/.615/.762, 1 HR, 262 wRC+, 0.6 fWAR

 

All statistics only include games played through 4/23/16, and used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats and Info, and Baseball-Reference (including Baseball-Reference Play Index). 

4 thoughts on “Week 3: Cubs continue early season dominance

  1. The Pirates have lost 9 games without having played the Cubs yet and with half their games to date having been versus the Reds, Brewers, and Padres (combined record 24-33; Pirates 5-4 versus these 3).

    Starting a week from today on May 2, the Pirates will play the Cubs 6 times and the Cards 3 times over a 12 game stretch. That stretch may well define whether the Pirates are contenders or pretenders,

  2. The Reds lead the majors in walks issued. No surprise there.

    2nd? The Pirates. That does not bode well for them moving forward. I’ll say it again, I see them taking a big step backwards like the Reds did in 2014.

    It’s hard to knock the Cubs for doing what they did to the Reds—kicking a team while it’s down. That’s what good teams do, not playing down to the competition. What’s more impressive is the crazy number of walks each guy in the lineup has taken overall.

  3. As a fan even if this was 1975 again…I don’t want to play anyone 19 times in a year? Its way too repetitive and boring? That being said….I’ll be surprised if they don’t atleast win the NL this year! Hammel has impressed me….throwing up to 94 mph yesterday and rarely leaving a ball in the middle of the plate. He kind of reminded me of vintage Wainwright! Guys like their leadoff man yesterday (is it Estella?) come off the bench and can really rake! Their defense is pretty good too. Madden (Maddon) has them being pretty aggressive on the bases…they don’t just sit around waiting on 3 run homers. Their pen is nasty too. They really have no holes and they’ll prob add some potential ace from Tampa or somewhere before the trade deadline. I do think Addison Russell is overhyped….the only team he seems to rake against is us?

    • Addison Russell put up 2.9 fWAR last year in MLB at the age of 21. Most prospects are in AA at 21.

      He’s not over-hyped whatsoever. He might be under-hyped.

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