National League Central

Standard

* – indicates new to team
AVG – Batting Average
ERA – Earned Run Average
HR – Home Runs
RBI – Runs Batted In
SV – Saves

1. St. Louis Cardinals
They are the envy of baseball from top to bottom.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
Can the magic continue for consecutive seasons?
3. Cincinnati Reds
A managerial change was long overdue for them.
4. Milwaukee Brewers
Ryan Braun aside this is an important season for the Brew Crew.
5. Chicago Cubs
How much longer will it take to be competitive?

Player to Watch: P Michael Wacha St. Louis Cardinals
He burst onto the scene late last season and was the talk of the Postseason for the Cardinals. Now he’ll have somewhat of a bullseye on him this season, but it won’t be because of what he did last season. It’ll be because of the team that he plays for. If he struggles, there is so much talent on the roster that it would be shocking if St. Louis falls out of contention. If he has a great full season in the rotation then he might even get some consideration for the NL Cy Young award. He’s that good. He will be brought along slowly, meaning there will be an innings cap, but he is in a good position to succeed with the talent that surrounds him.

Best Acquisition: OF Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers
There wasn’t one single free agent move or trade that would top the return of Ryan Braun for the Brewers. I myself have said before that I was not impressed with how he conducted himself before and after his confession of taking performance enhancing drugs in the Biogenesis scandal. Saying he will be the best acquisition is mainly to acknowledge how important he is to the state of the Brewers franchise. He is a talented and albeit a young hitter for a franchise that desperately needs him to be in the lineup. They won’t be contenders in a tough division this year, but going forward Milwaukee needs him to clean up his image in a hurry to hopefully build a contender around him in the near future.

New Kid on the Block: OF Oscar Taveras St. Louis Cardinals
This is what I mean when I say the Cardinals are the envy of baseball right now. With their vast array of young pitching at the major and minor league levels, they also have some good hitters ready to go at a moments notice. Kolten Wong will get his chance this year and you’ll see Taveras at some point this season. With the history of injuries to Bourjos, Craig and Holliday it would make sense that Taveras would get a look. It would also be shocking that if he performs well that they would send him back down. He is ready for the majors.

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Cardinals Lineup

1. 3B Matt Carpenter
.318 AVG 11 HR 78 RBI
2. CF Peter Bourjos*
.274 AVG 3 HR 12 RBI
3. LF Matt Holliday
.300 AVG 22 HR 94 RBI
4. RF Allen Craig
.315 AVG 13 HR 97 RBI
5. C Yadier Molina
.319 AVG 12 HR 80 RBI
6. 1B Matt Adams
.284 AVG 17 HR 51 RBI
7. SS Jhonny Peralta*
.303 AVG 11 HR 55 RBI
8. 2B Kolten Wong
.303 AVG 10 HR 45 RBI (AAA stats)

Bench

OF Jon Jay
.276 AVG 7 HR 67 RBI
2B Mark Ellis*
.270 AVG 6 HR 48 RBI
INF Pete Kozma
.217 AVG 1 HR 35 RBI

Rotation

1. Adam Wainwright
19-9 2.94 ERA
2. Michael Wacha
4-1 2.78 ERA
3. Shelby Miller
15-9 3.06 ERA
4. Lance Lynn
15-10 3.97 ERA
5. Joe Kelly
10-5 2.69 ERA

Setup

Jason Motte
42 SV 2.75 ERA (2012 stats)

Closer

Trevor Rosenthal
3 SV 2.63 ERA

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Pirates Lineup

1. LF Starling Marte
.280 AVG 12 HR 35 RBI
2. 2B Neil Walker
.251 AVG 16 HR 53 RBI
3. CF Andrew McCutchen
.317 AVG 21 HR 84 RBI
4. 3B Pedro Alvarez
.233 AVG 36 HR 100 RBI
5. C Russell Martin
.226 AVG 15 HR 55 RBI
6. 1B Gaby Sanchez
.254 AVG 7 HR 36 RBI
7. RF Jose Tabata
.282 AVG 6 HR 33 RBI
8. SS Jordy Mercer
.285 AVG 8 HR 27 RBI

Bench

OF Travis Snider
.215 AVG 5 HR 25 RBI
INF Clint Barmes
.211 AVG 5 HR 23 RBI
INF/OF Josh Harrison
.250 AVG 3 HR 14 RBI

Rotation

1. Francisco Liriano
16-8 3.02 ERA
2. Gerrit Cole
10-7 3.22 ERA
3. Wandy Rodriguez
6-4 3.59 ERA
4. Edinson Volquez*
9-12 5.71 ERA
5. Charlie Morton
7-4 3.26 ERA

Setup

Mark Melancon
3-2 1.39 ERA

Closer

Jason Grilli
33 SV 2.70 ERA

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Reds Lineup

1. CF Billy Hamilton
.256 AVG 6 HR 41 RBI (AAA stats)
2. 2B Brandon Phillips
.261 AVG 18 HR 103 RBI
3. 1B Joey Votto
.305 AVG 24 HR 73 RBI
4. RF Jay Bruce
.262 AVG 30 HR 109 RBI
5. LF Ryan Ludwick
.240 AVG 2 HR 12 RBI
6. 3B Todd Frazier
.234 AVG 19 HR 73 RBI
7. C Devin Mesoraco
.238 AVG 9 HR 42 RBI
8. SS Zack Cozart
.254 AVG 12 HR 63 RBI

Bench

INF/OF Skip Schumaker*
.263 AVG 2 HR 30 RBI
C Brayan Pena*
.297 AVG 4 HR 22 RBI
OF Chris Heisey
.237 AVG 9 HR 23 RBI

Rotation

1. Mat Latos
14-7 3.16 ERA
2. Johnny Cueto
5-2 2.82 ERA
3. Homer Bailey
11-12 3.49 ERA
4. Mike Leake
14-7 3.37 ERA
5. Tony Cingrani
7-4 2.92 ERA

Setup

Sean Marshall
0-1 1.74 ERA

Closer

Aroldis Chapman
38 SV 2.54 ERA

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Brewers Lineup

1. SS Jean Segura
.294 AVG 12 HR 49 RBI
2. 2B Rickie Weeks
.209 AVG 10 HR 24 RBI
3. RF Ryan Braun
.298 AVG 9 HR 38 RBI
4. 3B Aramis Ramirez
.283 AVG 12 HR 49 RBI
5. C Jonathan Lucroy
.280 AVG 18 HR 82 RBI
6. CF Carlos Gomez
.284 AVG 24 HR 73 RBI
7. 1B Mark Reynolds*
.220 AVG 21 HR 67 RBI
8. LF Khris Davis
.279 AVG 11 HR 27 RBI

Bench

2B Scooter Gennett
.324 AVG 6 HR 21 RBI
OF Logan Schafer
.211 AVG 4 HR 33 RBI
1B Lyle Overbay*
.240 AVG 14 HR 59 RBI

Rotation

1. Yovani Gallardo
12-10 4.18 ERA
2. Kyle Lohse
11-10 3.35 ERA
3. Matt Garza*
10-6 3.82 ERA
4. Marco Estrada
7-4 3.87 ERA
5. Wily Peralta
11-15 4.37 ERA

Setup

Francisco Rodriguez*
3-2 2.70 ERA

Closer

Jim Henderson
28 SV 2.70 ERA

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Cubs Lineup

1. SS Starlin Castro
.245 AVG 10 HR 44 RBI
2. LF Junior Lake
.284 AVG 6 HR 16 RBI
3. RF Nate Schierholtz
.251 AVG 21 HR 68 RBI
4. 1B Anthony Rizzo
.233 AVG 23 HR 80 RBI
5. C Welington Castillo
.274 AVG 8 HR 32 RBI
6. 3B Luis Valbuena
.218 AVG 12 HR 37 RBI
7. CF Justin Ruggiano*
.222 AVG 18 HR 50 RBI
8. 2B Darwin Barney
.208 AVG 7 HR 41 RBI

Bench

OF Ryan Sweeney
.266 AVG 6 HR 19 RBI
INF Mike Olt
.201 AVG 15 HR 42 RBI (AA and AAA stats)
INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio*
.243 AVG 3 HR 31 RBI

Rotation

1. Jeff Samardzija
8-13 4.34 ERA
2. Travis Wood
9-12 3.11 ERA
3. Jason Hammel*
7-8 4.97 ERA
4. Edwin Jackson
8-18 4.98 ERA
5. Jake Arrieta
5-4 4.78 ERA

Setup

Pedro Strop
2-5 4.55 ERA

Closer

Jose Veras*
21 SV 3.02 ERA

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