NL Central Midseason

I continue with my midseason snippets. Again, each team is addressed in order of the current standings. Remember the draft is Sunday, and the trade deadline is Friday, July 30.

Milwaukee Brewers—They are relatively comfortable in first place despite Christian Yelich not being Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain spending most of the first half on the IL. They needed to plus up there infield defense, and did by obtaining Willy Adames from the Rays (fair trade—the Rays needed the relievers they got in return). They could still use a 1B. However, if Cain and Yelich return to health/form, they’ll be tough to catch.

Cincinnati Reds—This week they play the Royals but then they have home and away series versus the Brewers followed by the Cards and Cubs with a series against the Mets toward the end of the month. They will certainly know where they stand before the trade deadline. Jesse Winkler, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray have all appeared in the rumor mill; they ain’t going anywhere if the Reds play well this month.

Chicago Cubs—My draft blurb for them was quite different before a 9 game losing streak dropped them to .500. The Cubs went into the season seemingly thinking they would be trading some of their pending free agents (especially Kris Bryant) before the trade deadline. 10 days ago they looked like they’d end up being buyers instead. At .500 obviously it could go either way. As for their schedule this month, the only winning team they play this month is the Reds. If they don’t pull up out of the nose dive, the sell off will begin. If they get hot, even against a weak schedule, they’ll have a hard PR conundrum if they want to sell anyway.

St Louis Cardinals—They need starting pitching. However, their team ERA is at least about league average. Their team OPS is #28 out of the teams. Very not good. They are possibly the second biggest disappointment this season other than the Twins. They could really use Trevor Story; Rockies fans’ heads would explode if they shipped him to St Louis like they did Nolan Arenado. Might be fun to watch.

Pittsburgh Pirates—They are unsurprisingly in competition for the first draft pick next year. They do have players multiple contenders will want and bring back multiple prospects in Richard Rodriguez and Adam Frazier. Jacob Stallings could also find a new home by the end of the month.

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