The dog days of summer continue to roll along while the National League Central continue to be the best division in all of baseball. As we look at the top of the division we see the St. Louis Cardinals with the best record in all of baseball followed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs.
Those two teams also have the second and third best records in the National League earning themselves the first and second wild card berths in the National League. That being said when we look at these three teams in a whole, they have played to a 23-7 combined record over the past 30 combined games.
While the National League Central lands atop the National League winners list the National League East and West could both land on the Losers list. Outside of the New York Mets in the National League East who are 8-2 over their past ten games, the Nationals continue to be a big disappointment winning just four of their past ten games to fall to 1.5 games behind the Mets.
Out West no other team in the division has put together a winning record over the past ten games. That includes the first place Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants who both have lost four straight games. Overall the entire division have played to just a 22-30 record over their last 50 combined games or the last ten games for each team.
Here is our complete list of winners and losers in the National League for this past week.
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies: Luckily for the fans of the Rockies the team elected to hold on to the Cargo. Gonzalez has been red hot for most of the season including the past week or so. The Rockies outfielder is hitting .270 over his past seven games with five home runs and 11 runs driven in. Gonzalez has increased his season total to 26 home runs and 64 runs batted in for the season.
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates: It is easy to see a few of the top players from around the National League Central land on this list. The first of those players is the former MVP Andrew McCutchen as he has seen his average increase to .297 on the season to go with 17 home runs and 74 runs batted in. Some of that success has come over the past seven games as McCuthen has picked up nine hits in his last 16 at bats including two home runs while batting .563 in that stretch.
Chicago Cubs: While we spoke about how good the National League Central has been the Cubs might be the hottest team in all of baseball. That comes after the team has picked up nine wins over their past ten games as well as winning four straight games heading into Tuesday Night. Their recent stretch of wins opened up splitting a two game shortened series against the Pirates before sweeping the San Francisco Giants at home.
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs: Arrieta continues to be one of the biggest surprises for many after once being considered a bust while playing for the Baltimore Orioles. Now Arrieta has turned himself into an All-Star as he has pitched to a 13-6 record this season and a 2.38 earned run average. This includes his latest start as he managed to pitch 7.2 innings of scoreless ball while lowering his earned run average to 2.38 on the season.
Matt Harvey, New York Mets: The Mets starter has seen some ups and downs this season but has recently turned it around over the past two outings to improve his season record to 11-7 while lowering his earned run average to 2.61 for the year. His last outing Harvey allowed zero earned runs over eight innings following up his seven scoreless innings back on August 5th against the Miami Marlins.
San Francisco Giants: A few weeks back it looked like the Giants were destined for another run towards a chance to play in October. Fast forward to today and the Giants are just 3-7 over their last ten games to fall to 59-52 but are still alive in both the division as well as the wild card picture. Luckily for the Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers hold just a 2.5 game lead over failing to put together a winning record of late. The Giants opened the week winning two of three against the Atlanta Braves before being swept by the Cubs in Chicago.
Aaron Harang, Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies veterans has struggled at times this season but has been reliable for the Phillies. That all changed in his last outing as Harang managed to go just 5.1 innings while allowing eight earned runs on the season. The loss lowered Harang’s record to 5-13 on the year while seeing his earned run average to increase to 4.52. for the year.
Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds: While we could have put the entire Reds team on the National League loser list. That being said we have elected to put one of the teams All-Stars on the list and that is third baseman Todd Frazier. Frazier is two for his last 27 at the plate with zero home runs and just one run batted in. Now Frazier is hitting just .255 for the year despite having 27 home runs and 68 runs batted in.
Jim Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers went out before the All-Star break and made a move to land multiple players to help the team make a post season run. One of those player was Jim Johnson who the team brought into help their bullpen. That hasn’t’ been the case in his four outings since being acquired as he has two blown saves including two losses. In the four outings, Johnson allowed 12 earned runs including eight in just two third of an inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.