National League Standings: Cubs hanging on to third place
The Cubs have played good baseball of late (Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports)

National League Standings: Cubs hanging on to third place

by - Staff Writer -

We at CubsHQ are here to break down the action of the NL Central periodically as the season progresses.

Here is our fifth NL Central Update of the year:

Milwaukee Brewers 57-45

Milwaukee started strongly to open up the 2022 campaign. Similar to last season, the Brewers are constructed to prevent runs, not really score them. The Brewers are boosted by an excellent pitching staff of Freddy Peralta, Brandon Woodruff, and Corbin Burnes — a three-headed monster that stacks up against anybody in the National League. Pair that with a bullpen that has Josh Hader is a very hard team to beat. Peralta has faced some time on the injured list but is expected to return soon. Burnes looks primed to be in the Cy Young race once again. Willy Adames and Rowdy Tellez have led the Brewers offensively — each with 20 plus homers and nearly 60 runs driven in.

The Brewers sent Burnes, Hader, and Devin Williams to the all-star game. Since we last updated, the Brewers took three of four from the Rockies, swept two from the Twins, and took two of three from the struggling Red Sox.

UP NEXT: This week, the Brewers take on the Pirates in Pittsburgh and then host the Reds for three over the weekend.

St. Louis Cardinals 54-48 (3.0 games back)

The St. Louis Cardinals did not make a ton of noise in the offseason, but their 17-game winning streak in September of last season gave them the confidence to have a strong season in 2022. Reuniting Albert Pujols with Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina for one more year mixed with the talent that Arenado, Goldschmidt, Carlson and O’Neil have given the Cardinals a very potent lineup. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado have proven to be one of the MLB’s best duos, with nearly 50 home runs and over 140 runs driven in between the two of them so far, with Goldschmidt firmly in the MVP race. On the mound, Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright have carried the weight.

St. Louis led the National League Central with five all-stars: Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Albert Pujols as a legacy selection, Ryan Hesley and Miles Mokolas. Since we last updated, the Cardinals dropped two of three to the Reds, split a two-game series with Toronto, and took two of three from the Nationals.

UP NEXT: This week, the Redbirds play the Cubs for three and the Yankees for three, all at home.

Chicago Cubs 41-60 (15.5 games back)

It was an up and down season for the Chicago Cubs last year, after losing over 10 players at the trading deadline and building toward the future. The rebuild is far from over, but the Cubs are now in that transition to a new team, with Marcus Stroman and Nick Madrigal as the main newcomers to go along with the early favorite for rookie of the year: Seiya Suzuki. But, all three have struggled to stay on the field in their first year with Chicago. Instead, it has been the spark provided by rookie Christopher Morel and Willson Contreras being the best catcher in baseball that has kept the Cubs afloat. Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ are also enjoying breakout campaigns. The Cubs look much different so far, but they hope the next great Cubs team isn’t too far away.

The Cubs had two players represent them in the all-star game, staring catcher Willson Contreras and Ian Happ. However, this team may look very different next week.

Since we last updated, the Cubs swept the Phillies, swept the Pirates in a two-game series, and then dropped three of four to the Giants in San Francisco.

UP NEXT: The Cubs will open up August in St. Louis against the Cardinals and then host the Nationals at Wrigley Field.

Cincinnati Reds 40-61 (16.5 games back)

The Reds were one of the worst teams in the MLB early on, and have not been much better since. After nearly making the playoffs and having multiple breakout seasons offensively, the Reds have said goodbye to Nicholas Castellanos, Sonny Gray, Jesse Winker, and Eugenio Suarez, and their lineup has struggled mightily early on. Joey Votto is struggling, as the Reds offense has been led by Brandon Drury, Tommy Pham, and Kyle Farmer thus far. The pitching staff has been led by sole All-Star Luis Castillo, but he has since been traded to the Mariners for a boat load of prospects. Since we last updated, the Reds took two of three from the Cardinals, split four with the Marlins, and won a series over the Orioles.

UP NEXT: This week, the Reds visit the Marlins in Florida and the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Pittsburgh Pirates 40-62 (17 games back)

The Pirates were widely expected to finish last in this division over the course of the last few years, but the progress they have made over the years does not pencil them in as a bottom feeder in this division. So far, the team is below .500 with solid contributions around the field. Bryan Reynolds has led things so far for the Pirates, but Jack Suwinski’s 14 home runs lead all rookies. The Pirates also sent reliever David Bednar to the All-Star game. Since we last updated, the Pirates lost two of three to the Marlins, and were swept by the Cubs and Phillies.

UP NEXT: To open up August, the Pirates play the Brewers and home and visit Baltimore to finish the weekend.

Stay tuned all year for updates on the NL Central.

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