June wraps up with the St. Louis Cardinals still holding a 6 game lead in the NL Central.
Seems like many are expecting the injuries to capsize this team, but I think that ignores some facts:
- Matt Adams has been largely ineffective in 2015, so losing him doesn’t really diminish the product anyhow.
- Losing Adam Wainwright is huge on paper, but this is a team that always seems to overcome injuries to their pitching staff. Yes, the team has gotten rid of a few established starting pitchers recently – Shelby Miller… Joe Kelly… – but they always find a way to get an arm from inside their system and they cruise along just fine.
- I would be a little concerned about the Jordan Walden injury, however, especially when you lose a starting pitcher like Waino who you can rely on to shorten your bullpen. The relievers will be a bit more exposed this summer and not having Walden around could hurt. He had put up a 0.87 ERA (1.93 FIP) in 12 appearances before suffering an injury in his throwing shoulder. This after starting his career with 5 straight seasons with a FIP no higher than 3.02. He’s a valuable asset down there in the pen. Walden should be back by July’s end.
To make a long story short, don’t cry for the Cardinals.
They took 2 of 3 at home against the Dodgers this weekend and have now won 6 of their last 7 games. Coming up is a series against the Brewers, so the winning shouldn’t stop anytime soon.
In the month of May, they increased their lead in the division by 3.5 games.
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The Chicago Cubs skittered to a break-even record of 14-14 in the month of May, including losing 4 of their last 6. They get a chance to start June off better with a series in Miami, but then travel to Washington for a 4-game set.
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Also 14-14 in the month of May, highlighted by a 7-game winning streak towards the end of the month was the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are starting to play better.
They split a 4-game series in San Diego over the weekend, staring this weekend off with a series in San Francisco before flying clear across the country for another road series in Atlanta.
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The Cincinnati Reds swept their weekend series against the Washington Nationals (how?!), finishing 11-16 for the month of May.
They lost 6 games in the standings during the month. 6 of their first 9 games in June are against the Philadelphia Phillies and the other 3 are against the San Diego Padres, so they have a chance to get off on the right foot
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The Milwaukee Brewers replaced their manager and actually had what you might consider a relatively good month of May, finishing 12-17.
Yes, they lost an additional 6.5 games in the standings and, no, they have no real chance here. The team’s awfulness is well-documented already.
They start the month of June with a 9-game road trip against the Cards, Twins and Bucs.
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National League Ranks
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|St. Louis Cardinals||33||17||–||W1|
* * *
|26-22||CUBS||Hammel (3-2, 2.98)|
|20-31||Marlins||Urena (0-1, 9.39)|
|6:10 PM CT|
|17-34||BREWERS||Fiers (1-5, 4.53)|
|33-17||CARDINALS||Garcia, J (1-1, 3.46)|
|7:10 PM CT|
|26-24||PIRATES||Cole, G (7-2, 2.11)|
|30-22||Giants||Vogelsong (4-2, 4.24)|
|9:15 PM CT|