The National League Central Division Will Not Be Won by the Best Team

Instead, it will be won by the team that sucks the least.

The Brewers have been on their way down for well over a month. The only reason they’re still in first place is because their nearest competition, the Cubs, has been sucking every bit as much as they have over the past four weeks.

The Cubs have had some stretches on the field where they were pure magic. They’ve also had times when they’ve been dreadful. With Soriano out of the lineup, their true colors show.

The Cardinals have been a sub - .500 team all season. The only reason they’re even within shouting distance of first place now is because the Cubs and Brewers have stunk so badly lately.

My prediction: the winner of the NL Central will be no better than five games over .500; and might even finish under .500.


So what else is new? Last year’s NL Central winner had an 83-78 record and then won the World Series.

Not to pick too much of a nit, but what? With Soriano out of the lineup, the fact that they have to replace a quite good player with a replacement level player shows how valuable quite good players truly are. The Cubs true colors are a lot closer to the 58-52 record they had built up prior to his injury than the 3-7 mark since. The Cardinals losing Pujols wouldn’t have their true colors exposed, it would just show that, short of a really lucky hot streak, it’s impossible to seamlessly replace a really difficult to replace player.

That said, I agree that none of these teams are likely to look like world beaters when the season wraps up. And, whichever team makes it has a real and legitimate chance to win the World Series.

The Cardinals have had a string of lousy luck. Their ace Carpenter had a season-ending injury, and Josh Hancock is on the forever DL. Molina and Rolen have been off and on, too. However, GM Walt Jocketty is a crafty shopper, and he has come up with some bright lights out of thin air.

This morning there was only 2 and a half games between first and third. The Cubs beat the Cards this afternoon, so now it’s Chicago and Milwaukee tied for the lead, and the Cards 3 back. It could all be reshuffled by next week. All three are over .500, for the time being. At this point, I’m not disputing anything HeyHomie predicted, yet.

Cards go all the way in '07. You heard it here first.

Yeah, the best you can say this year is that they suck rather less than the Cubs & Brewers, but all ya gotta do is play ok-ish for the regular season & get hot in September. We’ve done it before & we can do it again.

I’ve been scratching my head about this the last couple of weeks. At this point the Cardinals are practically a zombie team, because they were so dead just a month or so ago. But the fact is, they’re the only one of the three teams that is trending upward. We know from past history that they’re the team in the NL Central that has experience closing the deal; the Cubs and Brewers are just running in circles right now. Yeah, I can see them winning 84 games, and taking the division with that record. Not pretty, but it will get them to the postseason.

The NL West will apparently be won by the worst team in the division, the D-Backs.

You may not buy totally into the methodology, but this* site says that Arizona is a whopping 12 games better than they have any right to be. They win all the close ones and lose in a lot of blowouts, and are 17 games over .500, all despite being outscored by 22 runs.

*[Yeah they have been having problems there the last two days-not sure why “nan” is in many of the columns]

If they keep playing the way they have been lately, you may very well be right.

The Cardinals’ biggest problem through much of the season has been their starting pitching, what with its combination of inexperience, bad luck, and inexplicable suckiness, but now that they’ve gone twice through the rotation without any meltdowns, I have hopes that they’ve gotten that figured out.