The summer time feel is starting to arrive around the Major Leagues as we flip our calendars into June. For now we can all sit back and enjoy this somewhat cool days while the St. Louis Cardinals continue to be red hot. The Cardinals entered Monday with the best record in baseball at 33-17.
As we start to take a quick look at how they are doing it the first thing that pops out has been the teams pitching through their first 50 games of the season. Entering Monday, the Cardinals have allowed the fewest amount of runs in not only the National League but both leagues at just 149.
This has helped the Cardinals out score their opponents by 60 total runs the highest in the National League and eight more than the Los Angeles Dodgers. Some wondered how the team would respond after losing Adam Wainwright for the season. Now many wonder if they can just move on from the aging veteran.
Currently the Cardinals have four starters that have made at least 10 starts to this point, all of which have 3.50 earned run average. Michael Wacha leads the team with a 7-1 record and a 2.27 earned run average. Following him is Carlos Martinez who is 5-2 with a 3.13 earned run average.
Now we will take a look at each of the divisions and how they played around the National League
East Division: The National League East is much like the American League East with three teams fighting for the top spot. Currently the Washington Nationals hold the slight advantage with a 28-22 record while the New York Mets sit at 28-23 and the Atlanta Braves at 25-25.
On the flip side all three teams have struggled over their past ten games as each team went 5-5 over that course. After a strong week last week the Nationals played to just a 2-4 record last week taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs before being swept by the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend.
The Nationals pitching staff struggled against a Reds team that entered the seires with a 19-27 record. In the three game series the Reds outscored the Nationals 21-9 while the Nationals only managed to only score 16 runs in all six games last week.
While the Nationals struggled, the Mets were hot this past week posting a 4-2 record last week to take advantage of their losses. The Mets opened the week sweeping the Philadelphia Phillies in a three game series before opening with back to back losses to Miami Marlins.
The Braves managed to play to a 3-4 record while the Marlins posted a 2-4 record and the Phillies managed to lose all six of their contests.
Central Division: Over in the National League Central the Cardinals still hold the top spot while the Pittsburgh Pirates have made a run for them. The Pirates have been one of the hotter teams in all of baseball going 8-2 over their past ten games. That includes a 5-2 stretch last week with a three game sweep over the Marlins and a split with the San Diego Padres in their four game series.
Much of the teams turn around has been due to the recent play of former MVP Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen after a slow start enter this ten game stretch batting just .240 but after five multi hit games including two home runs he has risen his average up to .275 for the season.
The second place Cubs took a small step back after gaining ground on the Cardinals last week only managed to go 2-3 this past week with one of their games with the Kansas City Royals being postponed over the weekend. The Cubs big struggles were their ability to produce runs. In the teams five games they managed to score just 10 total runs that includes a four run outburst during the teams 8-4 loss on Friday.
The Reds also put together a strong week winning four of their six contests including a big three game sweep over the Nationals this past week. Despite the recent success the Reds still find themselves 10.5 games out of first place with only the Milwaukee Brewers behind them at 17-34.
West Division: The final division the National League West division has been up and down of late including the first place Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers managed to play to a 5-5 record over their last time games. That included going just 3-3 this past week taking two of three from the Braves before losing two of three against the Cardinals over the weekend.
While the Dodgers struggled, the San Francisco Giant made a run for the top spot after going 5-2 this past week. The Giants opened the week sweeping the Brewers to open the week outscoring them 17-8. The team then opened up taking the first two against the Braves in the four game series before losing the back end over the weekend including blowing a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth of Sunday.
The one team that has surprised many to start the season has been the Padres who many had as the top team in the division. Luckily for their fans they managed to play to a 4-3 record last week to gain some ground on the Dodgers. Some of the teams struggles have come from Matt Kemp who is hitting just .249 this season with one home run.
The one team that managed to put together a strong week was the Rockies who went 5-1 winning two of three against the Reds before a three game sweep over the weekend against the Phillies.
Now that we have taken a look at each of the divisions around Major League Baseball we can take a look at a few individuals. Here is our list of top individual performers over the eighth week of the season in the American League.
Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds: The Reds All-Star third baseman put together a huge six game stretch including four doubles and four home runs. Frazier also manged to put together four straight multi-hit games to help the Reds to a 4-2 record over their past six games.
Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks All-Star first baseman was red hot last week in the team’s six games. Goldschmidt managed to put together four multi hit contests including a three double game as well as three home runs over the six game stretch.