National League Central Weekly Recap: The Pittsburgh Pirates (1-6) couldn’t have started the season any worse after opening their season with a win over the Chicago Cubs. At times they have looked like a triple-A team committing at least an error until last night’s loss against the Cubs.
The positives for this team is they moved on from Chris Archer, who they got in one of the most one-sided trades in MLB history. The best stat this team can show is that the lineup has some power, ranking them 12th in the league in home runs. However, they have a -32 run differential in the division.
Brian Reynolds is looking to bounce back after a horrible 2020 season after finishing 4th in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2019. To start the year, he is currently batting .300, and Philip Evans is batting .438.
The Milwaukee Brewers (3-4) started their regular season with a win against the Minnesota Twins. Then they dropped the next three games against the Twins and the Chicago Cubs. After that, they closed the series against the Cubs with two solid victories and lost against the Saint Louis Cardinals last night.
The Brewers are one spot lower in terms of batting average than their division rival, the Pittsburgh Pirates, ranking them 27th. The Brewers also have a negative run differential at -6. However, their strongest aspect of their team is their pitching, as opposing teams average .179, putting them in 2nd.
Christian Yelich has a solid batting average of .318, but his strikeout rate is something the hitting coach has to monitor as he has strikeout 11 times in six games.
The Chicago Cubs (4-3) have started off the season with a loss against the Pirates, then dropped the next two against the Brewers, and beat the Pirates yesterday.
The Cubs have the worst batting average in the league; the team is just hitting .124 as a unit. However, their pitching has held up as opposing teams are batting .197 against them. The Cubs will have to figure out if they are going to be sellers or buyers as the season progresses.
That is something the team will have to take into consideration as their core of Anthony Rizzo, Javier Beaz, and Kris Bryant all homered last night against the Pirates.
SAINT LOUIS CARDINALS
The Saint Louis Cardinals (5-2) started the season with a win against the Cincinnati Reds, then lost the next two, swept the Miami Marlins in three games, and picked up the win against the Brewers.
The Cardinals may have the 24th best batting average but are 5th in runs batted in and fifth in home runs. The Cardinals have some solid arms in the bullpen, but the questionable aspect of their team is whether their starting rotation can hold up after ace Jack Flaherty.
The bats may be a bit cold, but newcomer star third baseman Nolan Arenado is proving his critics wrong by showing that he could strive outside of Coors Field. He has a stat line of .360 AVG., .385 OBP, and .520 SLG. Expect his power to pick up as the season progresses.
The Cincinnati Reds (5-1) have started the season on a high note as their Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer, signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After losing their home opener against the Cardinals, the Reds have won five straight games, including a sweep against the Pirates.
The Reds have the best batting average in baseball, 2nd in on-base percentage, and are second in home runs. Opposing teams are currently batting .197 against them, which is good for 5th in the league.
Nick Castellanos is in 5th place in terms of batting average, hitting at a .435 clip through six games. He also has four home runs, .480 OBP, and 1.130 SLG. The Reds still have their main core and can be a threat to win the division.