The National League Central Is a 2-Team Battle.

By Scott Manning
Jun. 10, 2019

Hi Everybody, We Have Just Concluded Another Weekend Around The Diamond In Major League Baseball. The Conclusion I Have Come Up With Is the NL Central Is Very Tight Along With the NL East. I'm Going to Focus On The East Another Time. But The National League Has My Attention.The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers Are Tied Atop Of the Division At The Moment, These Two Teams Have to Play Each Other 13 Times In The Second Half Of The Season. But Right Now It's a Dead Heat.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs Have Held Opponents To One Run In 18 Games and they Have Come Out On Top In All Of Those Games. The Cubs Pitching and As Well As The Hitting Have Been Outstanding. The Players I am Going to Talk About Are The Stars Of The Team That Have Stuck Out And Let Me Say This, These Players Are The Real Stars Of the Chicago Cubs. And Yes They Did Sweep Their Arch Rival St Louis Cardinals.

The Pitching...

The Pitching Staff, I am Talking About Starters and the Bullpen Have Had Opposing Batters Scratching Their Heads All Season Long. Back In April I was Ready To Count the Cubs Down And Out, Now All Of the Sudden The Cubs Pitching Is One Of the Best Rotation's In Major League Baseball.

Kyle Hendricks, He Pitched a 7.0 Inning Gem Only Gave Up One Run And Struck Out Three On Sunday Night Against The Cardinals. But He Has Done A lot More How About the Fact He's 7-4, He Leads the Team With the most Wins and A 3.00 ERA and 74 Strikeouts. I would Want Him On My Postseason Rooster.

Yu Darvish, He Does Lead The Team With 78 Strikeouts, However I have a Couple Of Concerns. First Off He Is 2-3 And Second Of all He Has an ERA Of 4.88. I Would Like to See Some More Wins Out Of Darvish, and Let's Get The ERA Down Some and We'll Talk About His Pitching Performance Some Other Time.

Pedro Strop, He Lead's The Team With The Most Saves With Seven, But Just Like Darvish He Needs to Get The ERA Down. He Has an ERA of 4.85. If You're Going to Be a Closer In the National League You Have to Keep the ERA Down To About 3.50 To Be Anybody To Talk about in the postseason Rotation.

Brandon Sintzler, He Leads The Team With 8 Holds, Now There's a Guy Who Knows How To Hold On to a Lead at Any Point In the Game and with a 2.57 ERA I Would Like to See Him Get Some Save Chances Because this Is a Bullpen Pitcher Who Can Get The Job Done.

And With a Team ERA Of 3.78, This Could Be a Cubs Team Who Could Contend In the Postseason. And The Starting Rotation And the Bullpen Have Shown Me A lot Since the Nightmare In April.

The Hitting...

The Cubs Have Watched Baseballs Go Flying Out Of Wrigley Field and On To Waveland Ave All Season Long, And Yes The Cubs Have Some Power Hitters and I Am Going to Talk About a Few Of them.

Javier Baez, He Leads the Team In Batting Average, He's Also Hit 16 Homeruns This Season So Far And Has 44 RBI's On the Season, And Here Are Some Other Numbers... .299/.339./.575/, These Are The Numbers I Like to See From Somebody Who Leads the Team In Batting Average.

Anthony Rizzo, He Leads the Team With 16 Home Runs And 45 RBI'S and He Also Leads the Team In On Base Percentage, I Would Like Somebody Like that In My Lineup And His Other Numbers tell The Story... .276/.390/.542/, He Can Hit Home Runs and Play Smallball To.

Kris Bryant, I Know He Does Not Lead the Team In Anything But He Can Hit and Play To, Try 13 Home Runs, 36 RBI'S. And He Can Also Slug a Good One And Play Smallball... .273/.383/.532/ His Numbers Are Great For Someone Who Can Get The Job Done.

And If you Look At What The Cubs Have Done as a Team In The Hitting Department You Will See Why The Cubs are The Biggest Threat, Not Only In The National League Central But In all Of Major League Baseball.

Cubs... .255/.345/.455 - Opponents .243/.318/.389

The Cubs Hitting Is The Best I Have Seen Since 2016 When They Won The World Series and If you Look At What They Have Done to Their Opponents This Season You Can See Why The Cubs Are the Contenders.

Now Before We Go And Start Talking About the Cubs Winning The NL Central We Have One Other Team That Needs to Have a Say.

Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers, Now This Team Hs Been a Force To Be Wrecking With All Season Long they Have Come Out Of the Gate Slowly But They Have Made Other Teams Around The League Fell Uncomfortable, Just Ask The Pittsburgh Pirates Because The Brewers Just Swept Them At Miller Park This Weekend. I Can See The Brewers Giving The Cubs a Run For Their Money All The Way To The End Of the Season. I Want to Talk About Some Players That I Have On My Mind That Could Stop The Chicago Cubs In Their Tracks.

The Pitching...

The Brewers Pitching Staff is an Up Or Down Situation Because Some Of the Pitchers that The Brewers Have Are Either Good Or Very Bad. The Starting Rotation Is Pretty Good, The Bullpen Is Good, However the Bullpen Has Let the Brewers Down In Some Games This Season. And Here Are Some Of the Players I am Talking About.

Brandon Woodruff, He Leads the Team In Wins With Eight On the Season and Also Leads The Team With 90 Strikeouts. His ERA Of 3.87 Is Pretty Good, I would Like to See the ERA Come Down Just a Little Bit, Other Than That He's In Good Shape For the Brewers Rotation.

Zach Davies, He Leads the Team In ERA at 2.41 And He Is 7-0 On the Season With 66 Strikeouts, Here's a Pitcher I Would Want On My Postseason Rooster. Keep Up The Good Work Zach.

Josh Hader, He's Been a Closer That Every Team Hates So Far This Season, Why You Ask, We Here's Why. Try 16 Saves, He Leads The Team and With a 2.20 ERA it's No Wonder Nobody Likes Him At All.

Alex Claudio, He Leads the Team In Holds With 13, However I Have a Concern With the 4.88 ERA So Far This Season. He Needs to Get That ERA Down If He Wants To Be a Middle Relief Pitcher In The Majors Because That Won't Cut it.

And The ERA As a Team Worries Me Some What with 4.48, You Can't Be a Contender When You Starters Have a Bad Game and The Bullpen Let's You Down. So The Pitching Rotation Needs Some Work.

The Hitting...

Let's Face It Christian Yelich Has Been Mr. Do It All For the Brewers All Season as Far As Hitting Goes. He Leads the Team In Everything But We Do Have Two Supporting Players As Well. .

Christian Yelich, He Has Been Mr. Do It All, Well Almost, His Numbers Have Been Fantastic For a Former NL MVP. Just Try 24 Home Runs Along With 53 RBI's and His Other Numbers Are Off The Chart... .340/.446/.745, And You Have Seen Why Yelich Won't Be Leaving Milwaukee Anytime Soon.

Mike Moustaks, The Moose Is On the Loose And Here's Why. He's Hit 20 Home Runs, Very Solid, and With 43 RBI's You Can See Why The Brewers Are a Contender and Here's The Other Numbers to Think About... .275/.337/.592. The Moose Has Been Let Loose This Season. The Brewers Got Smart and Got Him From Kansas City and You Can See Why.

Ryan Braun, He's Been Up Or Down All Season Long, He Does Have 10 Home Runs and36 RBI's To His Credit. However the Issue With Braun Is Very Simple. He Get's Into Hitless Slumps and Sometimes Can't Get Out of them. His Numbers Are Good But Not Great, Here's What I Mean... .273/.324/.459. I Would Like To See Braun Bring Up His On Base Percentage Just a Little Bit Because He a Little Far Down To My Liking. If Ryan Braun Can Do That He Will Have More Chances to Do Some Damage.

Now The Team as a Whole Has Had Good Days Along With Some Bad Days But the Brewers Have Been Hitting To And Here Are Those Numbers and The Opponents Numbers To Back It Up.

Brewers .254/.336/.454 - Opponents .250/.332/.421

I Have Already Given You My Take On Both Of these Teams But They Have 13 Games They Have to Play Against Each Other And it Could Come Down To Who Wants It the Most Or Even a One Game Playoff In October To See Who Gets Into The Postseason Like What Happened Last Year. If That Happens For the Second Year In a Row, I hope the Cubs Fans Don't Get Their Hearts Broken At Wrigley Like Last Year. The Cubs Are the Team To Beat In My Opinion, But The Brewers Are Legitimate Contenders Again Just Like Last year. So Don't Count The Brewers Out Just Yet and Before I go Here Are the Dates To Keep In Mind.

July 26th-27th-28th, Miller Park, Milwaukee...

Aug 2nd-3rd-4th, Wrigley Field, Chicago...

Aug 30th-31st-Sept 1st Wrigley Field, Chicago...

Sept 5th-6th-7th-8th Miller Park, Milwaukee...

Bye Everybody...