Central Intelligence: A Quick Look at the Division for the Week of 4/16

April is winding down and the good teams are finally starting to separate themselves a bit, though some are still off to a subpar start. Here’s a look at what happened in the Central this week:

Chicago Cubs

  • Went 4-3, bringing their record to 10-8.  The Cubs moved into first place on Friday night, beating the Reds in extra innings.
  • The Cubs were no stranger to clutch hits this week, as Addison Russell capped Walk-Off Wednesday. Anthony Rizzo had a three-run game-tying homer Friday night. The Cubs had a flare for the dramatic this week, getting two wins in their final at-bat.
  • Cubs starting pitching continues to struggle, at least compared to last year. The team ERA currently sits at 3.90 through 18 games, while the starters’ ERA sits at 4.21.
  • Ian Happ continues to rope Triple-A pitching, putting up seven home runs already. How the Cubs handle Happ over the season is something to keep an eye on.

Cincinnati Reds

  • Posted a 3-5 record, bringing their season mark to 10-9.
  • The Reds pitching has been almost on par with the Cubs, as the Reds have just a 3.85 ERA through 19 games.
  • Young starter Amir Garrett continues to impress, pitching to just a 1.83 ERA and holding a solid Orioles lineup to just two runs in his last start on Wednesday.
  • The Reds are looking to bring Devin Mesoraco backsooner rather than later. The series against the Brewers this week is the target.

Milwaukee Brewers:

  • Posted a percent 3-5 record, bringing them to 9-11. The Brewers dropped a series to the Cubs this week due to two heartbreaking losses.
  • Travis Shaw has been a good acquisition, as he’s already blasted five home runs, along with 18 RBI.
  • Eric Thames continues to be the steal of the year. Thames’ current slash line sits at .359/.461/.828 with 8 home runs. Small sample size and all, what Thames has done cannot be ignored.
  • Chase Anderson has been the Brewers’ best starter, pitching to a robust 1.13 ERA so far in 2017.

St. Louis Cardinals:

  • Posted a 6-2 record, bringing them to 9-10 on the year.  The Cardinals appear to be the Cardinals again.
  • Dexter Fowler continues to struggle mightily. His slash line is currently just .169/.241/.296. Feeling the pressure of a big contract, perhaps?
  • Jedd Gyorko accomplished a rare feat Saturday night, when he notched a Little League home run. Scored a triple, an error allowed him to score.
  • Seung-Hwan Oh posted five saves this week and looks to have his mojo back now.

Pittsburgh Pirates:

  • Posted a 3-4 record, bringing their mark to 8-10. In a rare set of occurrences, the Pirates got swept by the Cardinals, all by the same score (2-1), in St. Louis.
  • David Freese continues to hit; his average currently sits at .315 with three dingers.
  • Tyler Glasnow is struggling with efficiency. On Friday night, he lasted just 4.2 innings, throwing 102 pitches. However, the walks were down, as he only walked two hitters.
  • Starling Marte got busted for PEDs, leading to an 80-game suspension. That could be a killer for the Pirates.
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