Send by email

your name: email to: message:
Username: Email: Password: Confirm Password:
Login with
Confirming registration ...

Edit your profile:

Country: Town: State:
Gender: Birthday:
Email: Web:
How do you describe yourself:
Password: New password: Repite password:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bold Postseason Predictions: NL Central

Por Jack Leyva

It is hard to question the supremacy of the Chicago Cubs, a team that broke its curse two years ago with a historic MLB title. From that moment on, the franchise keeps its core of important players and has found complementary quality ones but none of it guarantees the domain of a division that has lots of talent, in which the Brewers and the Cardinals are the biggest setbacks.

Chicago Cubs: As we said before, they keep most of the players that were part of the victorious team of 2016 (Bryant, Rizzo, Russell, Schwarber, Zobrist, Baez, Lester…) and now they have added Yu Darvish and Brandon Morrow, two pitchers that played for the Dodgers in last year’s World Series. They have a good pitching crew but Joe Maddon is going to exploit their strongest points which are the offensive and the defense. Although they have to face very difficult rivals, it would be daring not to place them in the first position, with only a slight difference over the Cardinals and the Brewers.

Cincinnati Reds: Billy Hamilton is a great base-stealer and a potential Gold Glove candidate for defense in the center field; Joey Votto is one of the greatest hitters of the MLB, Mesoraco and Scooter Gennet have enough power, Raisel Iglesias is one of the most distinguished closers of the League. These are the Reds’ credentials, but honoring the truth the team does not have much more and it would be impossible for them to confront their divisional rivals. So far, they have already fired their manager Bryan Price and they are on the way to maintain or surpass their 94 losses mark from last year.

Milwaukee Brewers: They were only one game away from being wildcard last year, so this season’s ambitions are to go a little farther. For this purpose, they have already added interesting players like Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, two very good outfielders. The twenty-five-year-old Yelich is still ascending and has yet to surpass the 20 homers and get closer to the 100 RBI for his new team. Besides, the Brewers have in their roster many players that have not been so much in the spotlight but that conform a good team altogether and that is a very good reason why they should be included as serious candidates for the wild card.

Pittsburgh Pirates: This is going to be an evaluation year for the Pirates, after the most representative man of the franchise was traded last winter. Now Andrew McCutchen plays in San Francisco and the Pirates are looking for a new identity, a new face that will probably be the Dominican Gregory Polanco. They count with lots experience in their line-up (Sean Rodriguez, Josh Harrison, David Freese, Cervelli and Corey Dickerson) but beyond that, they don’t have a serious pitching after trading the ace Gerrit Cole (8.39 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched and a 1.25 WHIP). Those details limit their options and it is expected them to sell someone before the deadline for the trades, which could represent a solid step towards reconstruction.

St. Louis Cardinals: The quality of the catcher Yadier Molina, Dexter Fowler’s speed, the arising power of the newcomer Marcell Ozuna and the dynamism of Kolten Wong, Thommy Pham y Paul DeJong are crucial weapons for the Cardinals but they have serious difficulties in their pitching crew. Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright have not been the same after their injuries and they offer more doubts than certainties, while Carlos Martinez has not been very consistent either. Their aim is to win more than 83 games, although the true goal is the postseason, to which they can only aspire by means of the wildcard.