LOS ANGELES, June 18, 2013 — Chicago baseball is in trouble, both Chicago teams. The Cubs and White Sox have almost identical records that are awful. Meanwhile, The Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals continue to do what they always seem to do, win.
The Detroit Tigers have two legitimate Cy Young contenders in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Of course having the best hitter in baseball in Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder on offense never hurts the Wins category. The Tigers should easily win this division.
Cleveland, who started hot to begin the season are coming back down to earth and are .500 over their last ten games. Kansas City, on the other hand, was expected to be better, but stumbled out of the gate. Things are starting to turn around for the Royals who are 7-3 in their last ten games. Neither team need to worry about falling below third place though.
The Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox are just sort of floating through the season. Neither team is expected to turn it around this year. The Chicago White Sox are not expected to turn it around next year either.
Speaking of Chicago, things are not going much better on the north side as they are on the south. The Cubs are 15 games behind the rival Cardinals. For a fan base that is perennially hoping that this year is the year, they are already saying, “Next year we’re gonna do it.” Unlike the White Sox, the Cubs are at least moving in the right direction under Theo Epstein.
Much like Cubs fans, Milwaukee Brewers fans can probably write this season off. They stand 16 games out of first and their star player, Ryan Braun, is on the DL and facing a possible suspension. The loss of Prince Fielder, CC Sabathia and Zack Greinke over the last few years have crippled this franchise.
Aside from the Cubs and Brewers, the National League Central looks to have one of the most exciting pennant races as the summer unfolds. St. Louis is in first, but Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are within three games. All three teams are young and very well put together.
Cincinnati’s bullpen is a little banged up. Dusty Baker is adamant that closer Aroldis Chapman will not come out to pitch the eighth and ninth innings, at least not this early in the season.
If a franchise can learn what not to do in the face of losing their all-stars to free agency from Milwaukee, they can turn to St. Louis to learn how to prepare for the loss of a franchise player. The Cardinals wisely backed out of the Albert Pujols race and have never looked back.
The Cardinals are built to win now and in the future, as are the Reds and Pirates. The NL Central pennant race is shaping up to be one for the ages and will be very exciting to watch.
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