The NL Central is the one Division that has remained steady this week. The Cincinnati Reds hold a seven-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cincinnati didn’t look sharp last week as the Rockies swept a four game series. The Reds rebounded over the weekend, winning two of three from the Pirates. Cincinnati has a light schedule with four games against Arizona and a three-game set versus Houston.
The Cardinals have lost five of their last seven games to slip behind. St. Louis has not been taking care of business against weaker teams, losing three of those five games to the Brewers and Cubs.
Albert Pujols took the National League lead in home runs (39) and RBIs (104). Pujol’s .308 is seventh in the league and he needs to make up 29 points if he hopes to attain the NL’s Triple Crown.
Joey Votto (.321 average – third; 34 home runs – third; and 103 RBIs – second) is still in the hunt for the Triple Crown too, but has some work to do.
The Padres’ fall from the power in the NL West has made the division race very exciting. San Diego was swept by Division rival San Francisco in a four-game series over the weekend. However, the Padres’ win at Colorado Monday helped put them back in first.
San Francisco is only half a game back of the Padres in the Division standings. The Giants have won seven of their last 10, but are not even the hottest team in the Division right now.
Colorado’s loss to the Padres snapped the Rockies’ 10-game winning streak. The winning streak started when the Rockies swept Division-leading San Diego Oct. 3-5. The Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez is among the league leaders in the three major offensive categories. He currently leads the NL with a .337 average. He is fourth in home runs with 32 and is third with 101 RBIs.
The Rockies sit 2.5 games out of first place in the West and are 3.5 back in the Wild Card chase.
The Phillies have taken over the NL East lead. They hold a one-game lead over the Atlanta Braves thanks in part to winning six of their last seven. Philadelphia has not lost a season since Houston swept a four-game set in August.
Atlanta is still putting up gaudy numbers at home where they are 31 games over .500 at 52-21. However the Braves are 10 games under .500 on the road at 31-41. The Braves are essentially in a must-win situation this week. Though they are only one game out of the NL East race and lead the Wild Card. The team in the West are red-hot right now and Atlanta could fall behind in both races quickly.
Cincinnati – Looking very steady atop the Cental
Philadelphia – Big name players doing what they are supposed to
Colorado – Has a history of closing the season strong. Are they doing it again?
San Francisco – Can hold smell the NL West lead and the Wild Card would be a nice consolation prize
San Diego – Sinking badly and needs to prove they can right the ship fast