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State of the NL Central: September 10

Cubs lead thins, but they remain on top.

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Here we are, the final three weeks of the season, and it’s looking to be a real nailbiter, with the Cubs maintaining their hold on the number one place in the division by only two games at the moment, and both the Brewers and Cardinals in line to take the Wild Card slots at the moment. Funny how the NL Central is shaping up to be one of the best divisions in baseball, while the AL Central is unequivocally the worst.

Let’s see how things looked for the NL Central teams this past week.

Chicago Cubs 83-59

There’s a reason the Cubs lead dropped considerably this week, and while some might choose to blame it on the rain, it was just generally not an awesome week for the ballclub. In their three-game series against the Brewers they dropped two of three games, including an unpleasant 11-1 loss on Tuesday. Then they headed to Washington, where two games were rained out, and the Cubs won only a single game on Thursday, which leads them into a very confusing week ahead.

First they’ll see the Brewers again for a three game series at home, before they head back to Washington in the hopes of re-playing the postponed Sunday game, after which they will then head home again for a three game series against the Reds. What could possibly go wrong?

Up Next: vs Brewers (3 games); @ Nationals (1 game); vs Reds (3 games)

Milwaukee Brewers 82-62

Things went much, much better for the Brewers this week. In their three-game series against the Cubs they won two games, and followed that up by sweeping the Giants in a three-game set. Makes it pretty easy to see how they managed to gain so much ground on the Cubs this week.

As for the week ahead, there will be three more very decisive games played against the Cubs at Wrigley, followed by a three-game series against the Pirates back in Milwaukee. This could be a big week for the Brewers.

Up Next: @ Cubs (3 games); vs Pirates (3 games)

St. Louis Cardinals 79-64

A bit of good, a bit of bad, it all shaped the week for the Cardinals, who are on the hunt for a wild card slot this postseason. First they took on the Nationals for three games and won two of three in that series. Then they headed to Detroit to commemorate the 1968 World Series, and unfortunately for the Cardinals the results went much the same way that series did, with the Tigers taking the edge, winning two of the three games there and taking the series.

In the week ahead they’ll face the Pirates for three games before a four-game battle for the wild card goes down against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are just as hungry for another postseason go. Could be a very interesting series.

Up Next: vs Pirates (3 games); vs Dodgers (4 games)

Pittsburgh Pirates 71-71

The Pirates and themselves one heck of a good week, placing them squarely at the .500 mark to lead into the new week. First they played host to the Reds for three games and swept the series, then the Marlins came to down and the Pirates took the first two games, with the third being called due to weather.

Now they’ll need to face division rivals for the rest of the week with a three-game series against the Cardinals, followed by a three-game series against the Brewers, both teams with something to lose and something to hopefully win. It won’t be an easy week for Pittsburgh.

Up Next: @ Cardinals (3 games); @ Brewers (3 games)

Cincinnati Reds 61-83

Things could have been worse for the Reds last week. They could have been better, too, but overall it was a pretty solid run for the last-place team in the division. First they were swept by the Pirates in a three-game series, before playing host to the Padres for four games, where they split the series at two wins apiece.

Up next they’re going to have to prove themselves against the Dodgers over three games before heading to Chicago to play the Cubs over a three-game series on the weekend.

Up Next: vs Dodgers (3 games); @ Cubs (3 games)