It’s only May 9th, but the Cubs are already running away with the NL Central. The Cubs have won 7 straight games, and are already 7.5 games ahead of the second place Pirates. Speaking of the Pirates, they been playing great baseball against everyone other the Cubs. The Pirates are currently just 0.5 games out of the second wild-card spot.
|Pittsburgh Pirates||17-14||7.5 GB|
|St. Louis Cardinals||16-16||9.0 GB|
|Milwaukee Brewers||13-17||11.5 GB|
|Cincinnati Reds||13-18||12.0 GB|
The Cubs continue to dominate. They’ve won 7 straight games, and are 24-6 on the season. They have the best record in baseball. Their city-mates from the south side, the White Sox (22-10) are the only other team in the MLB with 20+ wins.
The Cubs began the week with an impressive sweep of the Pirates in Pittsburgh. They outscored them 20-5 in the three game series. Then the Cubs swept the Nationals in a 4-game series at Wrigley Field. Those games were much closer, but the Cubs showed their moxie by coming back from early deficits in each of the final 3 games of the series.
Ben Zobrist hit 4 home runs over the last week, and he wasn’t even the Cubs hottest hitter!
Who’s Hot (last 7 days): Anthony Rizzo: .407/.515/.852, 2 HR, 1 SB, 248 wRC+, 0.8 fWAR
Who’s Cold (last 7 days): Jason Heyward: .071/.188/.143, 1 for 16, 4 K, -6 wRC+, -0.1 fWAR
- Mon (8:05), Tues (8:05), Wed (8:05) vs Padres
- Fri (2:20), Sat (2:20), Sun (2:20) vs Pirates
The Brewers had a pretty good week. They took 2 of 3 from the Angels in Milwaukee, and split a four game series with the Reds in Cincinnati. The Brewers offense has been very good of late, as they’ve scored 64 runs in their last 8 games (8.0 runs per game).
Chris Carter continues to be an absolute steal for the Brewers. They signed Carter to a one-year, $2.5 million deal this off-season, and all he has done is crush baseballs. He is hitting .288/.347/.673 with 10 HR, 156 wRC+, and 1.0 fWAR. The Brewers would probably be wise to look to deal Carter the first chance they get this summer.
Who’s Hot (last 7 days): Chris Carter: .367/.367/.900, 5 HR, 229 wRC+, 0.5 fWAR
Who’s Cold (last 7 days): Chase Anderson: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 10.80 ERA, 7.88 FIP, -0.1 fWAR
- Mon (7:10), Tues (7:10), Wed (7:10) at Marlins
- Thurs (8:10), Fri (8:10), Sat (7:10), Sun (2:10) vs Padres
The Pirates came into the week hot (winners in 6 of 7), but they were swept by the Cubs at home to begin the week. The Pirates were outscored 20-5 in the series. The Pirates did however take 2 of 3 from the Cardinals over the weekend. The Pirates currently sit 0.5 games out of the second wild-card spot, behind the Phillies.
If you thought Gerrit Cole was only a hot head on the baseball field, you should think again. He was seen heckling the Washington Capitals players during an NHL Playoff game with the local Pittsburgh Penguins. He even had to be asked by usher to calm down.
Who’s Hot (last 7 days): Francisco Liriano: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 10 K, 2.57 ERA, 1.08 FIP, 0.4 fWAR
Who’s Cold (last 7 days): John Jason: .174/.240/.304, 4 for 23, 4 K, 48 wRC+, -0.1 fWAR
- Mon (7:10), Tues (7:10), Wed (7:10) at Reds
- Fri (2:20), Sat (2:20), Sun (2:20) at Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals went 4-3 over the last week. They took 3 of 4 from the hot Phillies in St. Louis, but lost 2 of 3 over the weekend in Pittsburgh. The Cardinals continue to sit at .500 at 16-16.
Carlos Martinez had to leave his start in the 4th inning on Saturday because of fatigue. He is currently listed as day to day. The Cardinals really need Martinez to be healthy, and in the rotation. He has a 2.61 ERA/3.81 FIP through 6 starts this season.
The Cardinals offense continues to be lead by two young players. Aledmys Diaz (.402/.439/.696, 5 HR, 198 wRC+) has been a huge boost for the Cardinals at SS, and Stephen Piscotty (.303/.366/.521, 5 HR, 137 wRC+) has cemented himself in RF.
The Cardinals will begin a tough six game road trip in LA on Thursday. They’ll play three games against the Angels before playing three games over the weekend against the Dodgers (including Sunday Night Baseball).
Who’s Hot (last 7 days): Aledmys Diaz: .333/.391/.571, 1 HR, 148 wRC+, 0.2 fWAR
Who’s Cold (last 7 days): Matt Holliday: .217/.280/.261, 5 for 23, 4 K, 37 wRC+, -0.1 fWAR
- Tues (10:05), Wed (10:05), Thurs (10:05) at Angels
- Fri (10:10), Sat (9:10), Sun (8:05) at Dodgers
Nick’s Power Rankings
St. Louis Cardinals
(all teams stayed the same)
Players of the Week
Pitcher: Francisco Liriano, Pirates: 7.0 IP, 10 K, 2.57 ERA, 1.08 FIP, 0.4 fWAR
Batter: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs: .407/.515/.852, 2 HR, 1 SB, 248 wRC+, 0.8 fWAR
All statistics only include games played through 5/7/16, and used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats and Info, and Baseball-Reference (including Baseball-Reference Play Index).
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.