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NL Central Update: Brewers edge out a narrow lead

But for how long?

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What a mixed bag for the NL Central! The Cubs and Brewers came within a half game of each other to start the new week, but nothing really went as expected for any of the teams, so while the results don’t appear to have changed much by the numbers, there were still some unexpected things that happened.

So let’s take a look at what went right (and wrong) for the various Central teams this past week, and what’s coming down the pipeline.

Milwaukee Brewers 38-28

How do you bounce back from losing a series against the Miami Marlins (including a 16-0 Tuesday loss)? After the Brewers dropped the first two games of a three-game series against the Marlins, the Milwaukee team went on to play host to the Pirates and swept their three-game series against Pittsburgh.

They had an off day on Monday, but embark on a westerly road trip with a two-game series against the AL West leading Houston Astros, followed by a three-game weekend series against the San Francisco Giants. The Astros series will prove a bit tough, as they are currently 24-9 at home. The Giants on the other hand only 11-20 at home, meaning there’s likely a good weekend ahead for the Brewers.

Up Next: at Astros (2 games); at Giants (3 games)

Chicago Cubs 37-28

Last week kicked off with a single game snowout game rematch against the Angels, which the Cubs won 8-1. This was followed by a three-game series against the Rockies, where the Cubs won two of the three games. They then went on to sweep the Cardinals in a three-game series. So all said and done, the Cubs had a pretty solid week, which is why they are currently a mere half-game back.

On Monday, they started a three-game rematch series on the road against the Rockies, losing the first game. They’ll play two more games against the Rockies and then head to Los Angeles for a four-game series against the Dodgers. The Dodgers currently have a 25-7 mark at home, and are 7-3 over their last 10 games, so the Cubs have their work cut out for them.

Up Next: at Rockies (2 more games); at Dodgers (4 games)

St. Louis Cardinals 32-32

The Cardinals should have had a pretty solid week, last week, but instead they won only a single game in the entire week. They started with a three-game series against the Reds, where the Reds took the first game, the second was postponed, and the third was the Cardinals’ only win of the week. They went on to be swept by the Cubs over a three-game set at Wrigley.

The Cardinals started off the week with a three-game series against the Marlins, where they won the first game. Then the Cardinals will head to New York for a four-game series against the Mets. The Mets have a pretty solid 19-11 record at home, and the Cardinals are 12-19 on the road right now, so that could make for a pretty close series.

Up Next: at Marlins (2 more games); at Mets (4 games)

Pittsburgh Pirates 30-35

It has been a rough week for the Pirates. They played a three-game series against the Braves, losing two of three games, then went on to a three-game series against the Brewers where the Milwaukee club swept.

They have started another full week with a four-game rematch against the Braves — the first game of which the Braves already won 13-7 on Monday. Then they head to Miami to take on the Marlins for a three-game series. The Marlins and Pirates are pretty closely matched over their last 10 games, with Miami going 4-6 and Pittsburgh going 3-7.

Up Next: at Braves (3 more games); at Marlins (3 games)

Cincinnati Reds 29-35

The Reds had a very typical week of their season thus far, splitting two series, and coming away with only two wins. They started with a three-game Cardinals series, split a game apiece, with one postponement in the mix. Then they saw the Phillies over a three-game series, where the Reds won a single game.

Now they’ll be seeing the Cleveland Indians over a two-game series. The once-strong Indians are only 5-5 over the last 10 games, but they are 19-9 at home. Then the interleague play continues with the Texas Rangers coming to play in Cincinnati for three games. The Rangers are 11-18 on the road right now, so in spite of their second place position in the AL West, the Reds might do well. That said, the Rangers are 7-3 over their last 10 games.

Up Next: at Indians (2 games); vs Rangers (3 games)