It is late June and the Milwaukee Brewers are currently on top of the National League Central standing with a record of 41-37. The Reds recently had a 12 game winning streak snapped and are just a half game back of the Brew Crew. While not out of it, the Cubs, Pirates, and Cardinals all have losing records and their path to the playoffs is a bit more difficult.
At this point in the season the NL Central division is still up for grabs, but one expert predicted that pitching will be the primary reason why Milwaukee ends up as the ultimate winner. The full video clip from MLB Network is listed below, but host Alanna Rizzo had Mad Dog predict the division winner with the options being the Brewers, Reds, and Cubs.
Pitching cited as the top reason why the Milwaukee Brewers will prevail as NL Central winners.
In Mad Dog’s explanation he indicates that he likes the Brewers pitching over the Reds. He loves the Reds offensive lineup but questions if Cincinnati will be willing to give up prospects at the trade deadline in order to acquire more pitching.
Currently the Reds have pitchers Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Ben Lively, Tejay Antone, Vladimir Gutierrez, and others on the injured list. They could benefit from adding in both the starting pitcher and bullpen areas.
Mad Dog also goes on to say this regarding the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs.
I will say Milwaukee will win the division. Woodruff is going to come back eventually. They still got Peralta and Burnes there.
The Cubs, I’m not sure if they are going to trade Stroman. I’m not sure what the Cubs plan is right now. They might be fishing for a better day plus Bellinger, could they be looking to unload players? And their still under .500.
Over the weekend Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said that he viewed Chicago as buyers. He likes their veteran heavy team and they too have been getting incredible pitching performances from Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, and Kyle Hendricks.
Not mentioned by Mad Dog was Julio Teheran and Wade Miley of the Brewers. It has been a down year so far for Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta, but Julio Teheran has a 1.53 ERA through his first six starts and Wade Miley 2.93 over 10 starts. The fact that he didn’t even mention Milwaukee’s arguably two best starting pitchers this year just shows how deep their pitching staff is.
While not the strongest division in baseball the NL Central standings are close. It should be fun to see who emerges as the winner when all is said and done.
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