NL Central Standings: Cubs behind Cards by 3.5 games


by - Staff Writer -
Kareem Elgazzar - USA Today Sports
Kareem Elgazzar - USA Today Sports

Another week or so has come and gone in the NL Central, and the division has seen a lot of movement throughout. But, in a division with no clear favorite and an expectation of constant competition, the division has not disappointed.

We’re here to break down the action of the NL Central after about 35 games of the young season.

St. Louis Cardinals 21-14

Of all the teams that could be called a favorite to win this division, the Cardinals were the closest to it — and they are starting to look like it. Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt have anchored a lineup that has been aided by a strong pitching staff. The Cardinals won two of three from the Phillies since we last updated. They also swept the Pirates and Rockies while taking two of three from the Mets.

UP NEXT: This week, the Cardinals travel to Milwaukee to take on the Pirates and then head to San Diego over the weekend to take on the Padres.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS 19-16

The Brewers have slipped a bit lately but remain in playoff position early, and their pitching staff is a huge reason why. Corbin Burns is off to a historically dominant start, with over 40 strikeouts and zero walks despite a stink on the injured list. . In addition, Freddy Peralta and Brandon Woodruff round out the division’s top starting rotation, and the bullpen boasts Devin Williams and Josh Hader. As a result, Milwaukee hasn’t had to put many runs on the board to win, and a lineup that has added Kolten Wong and Jackie Bradley Jr. have been good at manufacturing runs.

Since we last recapped, the Brewers lost two of three to the Marlins before taking two of three from the Dodgers. The Brewers then lost four in a row to the Phillies before taking two of three from the Marlins over the weekend.

UP NEXT: This week, the Brewers host the Cardinals for three with a chance to make up some ground in the NL Central and then host the Atlanta Braves for three over the weekend.

Chicago Cubs 17-17 (3.5 GB)

The Cubs have been a very rocky team so far in 2021. It’s been shaky in the starting rotation except for Jake Arietta, who is currently on the injured list, and the bullpen has been a bright spot — highlighted by closer Craig Kimbrel who has been fantastic. The offense has been one of the best in the majors since their historically slow start, led by Kris Bryant’s .308 batting average and 9 home runs. In addition, Javier Baez has been near the NL lead in RBIs, while Matt Duffy has provided some versatility and contact to a lineup that desperately needed it.

Since the last time we recapped it, the Cubs lost three of four to the Braves and then two of three to the Reds. Then the offense woke up as the Cubs swept the reigning World Series Champion Dodgers and took two of three from the Pirates over the weekend.

UP NEXT: The Cubs were off on Monday, and they head to Cleveland for two against the Indians before another off day and a weekend series with the Detroit Tigers.

Cincinnati Reds 16-16 (3.5 GB)

The last time we updated, the Reds were atop the division, riding a hot offense to a strong start. Last season, it was all about pitching for the Reds — and the team is still waiting for some strides to be made on that side of the ball. Nicholas Castellanos’ suspension for playing a passionate brand of baseball has been a popular storyline for this ball club early on as well.

Since we last updated, the Reds took two of three from the Dodgers and Cubs. After that, the Reds split a two-game series with the White Sox and split two games with the Indians before a postponement on Mother’s Day. The Reds won game one of their series with the Pirates 14-1 on Monday.

UP NEXT: This week, the Reds are in Pittsburgh for three and in Colorado for four over the weekend.

Pittsburgh Pirates 14-20 (6.5 GB)

The Pirates were widely expected to finish last in this division, and after a wildly impressive first few weeks, have fallen back into the last place in the NL Central. However, regardless of placement in the division, the Pirates are definitely showing signs of improvement. Since we last talked, the Pirates split a weekday series with the Royals before getting swept by the Cardinals. After that, the Pirates lost consecutive series against the Padres and the Cubs. They have also dropped the first game of their series against the Reds.

UP NEXT: This week, the Pirates host the reds for three and then the San Francisco Giants for four over the weekend.

Stay tuned as we periodically update you all on the status of the NL Central.

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