Today we’ll be going through what I saw in the first month from the Central Divisions. You can find the East for both leagues here.
- Chicago Cubs (13-11)
The bats are working great for the Cubs, as they’re sitting top-10 in nearly every offensive category. The small problem for Chicago is pitching. If John Lackey and Jake Arrieta can get keep the runs under control, the Cubbies will be a legitimate threat to repeat as champs.
- Milwaukee Brewers (13-13)
First baseman Eric Thames led the Brewers (and just about everybody else for that matter) with a scorching .345 batting average and 11 homers in April. Milwaukee has the offense to keep things going, or even improve, but it’ll need to figure out the closer situation as Neftali Feliz has an ERA of 6.17 in 13 appearances.
- Louis Cardinals (12-12)
The Cardinals don’t have a lot of power top to bottom—besides third baseman Jedd Gyorko, who’s hitting .348 with a team-high six homers. However, they’ve been one of the best teams in the MLB at producing runs via the sac fly. There’s nothing wrong with productive outs.
- Cincinnati Reds (11-13)
Cincinnati has cooled off considerably after a 7-2 start. The Reds are a top-10 run-producing team at 4.65 runs per game, but the pitching has been horrendous at 5.08 per game, third-worst in the MLB.
- Pittsburgh Pirates (11-13)
Even with outfielder Starling Marte, the Pirates weren’t off to a fantastic start, but they could at least contend in the division. They might be too deep by the time he returns from a PED suspension July 18 to make a run.
- Cleveland Indians (14-10)
Plate discipline is what is getting the Indians where they want to be offensively. Cleveland doesn’t strike out often, but is top-10 in walks. However, the inconsistent backend of the pitching rotation could cause problems later in the season.
- Chicago White Sox (13-10)
The red-hot White Sox ended April winners of six of their final seven, all against division foes. This team struggles at the plate, sitting second to last in total bases, but boasts the best ERA in the bigs. I wouldn’t expect the White Sox to stick around the top of the standings, though, because you can’t win if you can’t score.
- Minnesota Twins (12-11)
Starting pitcher Ervin Santana has been lights out with a 5-0 record in six starts and a 0.66 ERA. But there haven’t been many other bright spots in the rotation as three starters have ERAs at five-plus.
- Detroit Tigers (12-12)
Pitching is an issue in Detroit as the Tigers have the worst ERA in the MLB. They’ve managed to offset the damage with an even 5.0 runs per game, but that’s only good enough for a .500 record.
- Kansas City Royals (7-16)
Anemic offensively, the Royals are bottom-five in every offensive category. On the bright side, that includes strikeouts, Kansas City doesn’t strike out.
Photo by Brigham Berthold