We’re continuing to the Central Divisions of our July recap. If you missed the East, you can find it here.
- Cleveland Indians (57-47)
No matter the opposition, the Indians managed to hold first place through the entire month of July. Cleveland took advantage of a weak schedule during the latter half of the month and won nine straight.
- Kansas City Royals (55-49)
The Royals have made up a ton of ground on the Indians since May and are matching the Tribe blow for blow in what has become a tight division race. Kansas City went on a nine-game run of its own in July to get where it is.
- Minnesota Twins (50-53)
They say can can’t win a division in May, and the Twins proved it. Minnesota held first place in the Central from May 11 to June 16, but they have faded and failed to keep pace with the Royals and Indians.
- Detroit Tigers (47-57)
Despite finishing July 10 games under .500, the AL Central is the only division the Tigers hold a winning record against. You would think all those division games would add up to a better record, but the AL West has killed them at 9-18.
- Chicago White Sox (41-62)
July was brutal to the White Sox as they finished the month 6-18, including a stretch where they lost 14 of 15. At 15.5 back in the Central and 13.5 out of the Wild Card, they’re just about eliminated from playoff contention.
- Chicago Cubs (56-48)
Chicago hit the bottom in May, but has since climbed out of the mystery sludge and finished July with a 16-8 record. Back on top of the NL Central, the Cubs appear to have gotten their groove back as they won 13 of their last 16 in the month.
- Milwaukee Brewers (55-52)
After they held first place for 60 days, the Brewers came crashing back to Earth and fell to second in the Central. The fall included a 2-7 home stretch and a 12-13 overall record in July. It was fun while it lasted.
- St. Louis Cardinals (52-53)
As a team hovering right around .500, the Cardinals are exactly that on offense—average. Their pitching, however, is better than average with a top-five team ERA of 3.82. Also of note, the Cardinals are yet to be called for a balk this season, which puts them in elite company with just one other club… The Cubs.
- Pittsburgh Pirates (51-54)
The Pirates had a golden opportunity with some favorable scheduling to make a run at the NL Central leaders. After a 12-2 stretch, it looked as though Pittsburgh was ready to make its move, but the Bucs flamed out with a 2-6 finish. I might have used too many pirate puns before.
- Cincinnati Reds (42-63)
When you think things can’t get worse for the Reds, they do. After barely cracking double-digit wins in June, Cincinnati failed to reach that mark in July with just eight. One good thing going for the Reds right now is that they’re sitting in the top three in MLB with 83 stolen bases. However, speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton owns 44 of those.
Photo by Brigham Berthold