Chicago Cubs: NL Central standings update
|Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 12:29 PM- -|
The 2021 season is about 11 games old, and the NL Central has been fun to watch. We’ve had various big faces switch teams like Nolan Arenado coming to the Cardinals or Trevor Bauer leaving the Reds. No team looks especially strong, and many expect the Central to be one of the most competitive races.
We’re here at CubsHQ to breakdown the division’s storylines, standings, and more:
The Reds did lose some key pieces over the offseason, including reigning Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer to the reigning champion LA Dodgers. However, the Reds do return a string of young pitching staff and an offense capable of putting up a large number.
The Reds began their season winning two of three against the Cardinals in Cincinnati. Then the Reds drubbed Pittsburgh, sweeping the Pirates in a three-game series. Over the weekend, the Reds traveled to Arizona, dropping two of three to the Diamondbacks. This week, the Reds play the Giants. So far, they have split the first two games of the series.
UP NEXT: The Reds finish up their midweek slate with the Giants with a game on Wednesday. On Thursday, they have a day off before hosting Cleveland for a three-game set.
BREWERS 6-5 (1 GB)
The Brewers return arguably the best pitching rotation in the division, including fireballer Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. The bullpen has been a solid unit for years as well, with Josh Hader pacing the unit. While the Brewers were unable to add any major players, additions of Kolten Wong and Jackie Bradley Jr. keep are solid pieces to keep the Brewers winning.
The Brewers began their season in Milwaukee, dropping two of three to the Minnesota Twins. Then the Brewers traveled to Chicago and took two of three from the Cubs. Over the weekend, the Brewers beat the Cardinals two of three times. This week the Brewers are hosting the Cubs — so far, the teams have split the first two games.
UP NEXT: The Brewers finish up their mid-week series against the Cubs and will have an off-day before hosting the Pirates for three.
CARDINALS 6-5 (1 GB)
The Cardinals made the biggest splash of any NL Central team over the offseason by acquiring Nolan Arenado. Although they didn’t make any notable moves outside of the blockbuster trade, accruing a top-ten player is enough to significantly bolster any team. The Cardinals have a young pitching staff, and the offense has so far been anchored by Nolan Arenado and much improved.
The Cardinals opened their season in Cincinnati, dropping two of three games to the Reds. The Cardinals then swept the Marlins in Miami. Over the weekend, St. Luis returned home and dropped two of three to the Brewers. So far this week, the Cardinals have split games with the Nationals.
UP NEXT: Like the rest of the division, the Cardinals finish up their series with Washington, have an off-day, and then travel to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies for three over the weekend.
CUBS 5-6 (2 GB)
Out of all the NL Central teams, the Cubs’ offseason was the most difficult to read. Most of the offseason was spent cuttings salary and getting rid of players like Yu Darvish, Victor Caratini, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester and more. Quickly the offseason turned into the Cubs signing Joc Pederson and Jake Arietta. Thus far, the pitching has been fine but the hitting has been atrocious — good for the Cubs lowest total of hits in any 10-game period in franchise history according to a team historian. Still though, the Cubs find themselves very much involved early.
The Cubs opened their season by taking two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates. After that, the Cubs dropped two of three to Milwaukee. Over the weekend, the Cubs dropped two of three to the lowly Pirates. Sticking to the pattern, the Cubs then traveled to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers, and they have split the first two games of the series.
UP NEXT: The Cubs have one more to get through against the Brewers before an off-day and then a weekend series in Chicago against the Braves.
PIRATES 4-7 (3 GB)
The Pirates are still firmly in a rebuild and are not expected to finish any higher than fifth in this division. As some of their youth comes through the system, expect the Pirates to show some signs of success — but the wins are still a year or more away.
The Pirates opened their season, dropping two of three to the Cubs and then getting swept in a there game series with the Reds. Over the weekend, the Pirates took two of three from the Cubs. This week, the Pirates have split two games with the Padres.
UP NEXT: The Pirates finish their series with two more games against San Diego and then a weekend clash with the Brewers in Milwaukee.
Stay tuned as we update this every week.