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Thread: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

  1. #1
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    Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    With the two teams being the Reds and Cardinals? It's early, but I really don't like any of the other teams in this division. I think the Cubs are in for a long year and I'm really not feeling Milwaukee, but they could get hot and on a roll at some point during the summer. I would like it if it did come down to the Reds and Cards though, it would be cool if both teams ran away from everyone else and stayed withing 5 games of each other the rest of the way. Maybe it could be the beginning of a nice rivalry. It is early though, and the Reds have done this before, I'm just wishing for a fun summer.
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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    Quote Originally Posted by BearcatShane View Post
    With the two teams being the Reds and Cardinals? It's early, but I really don't like any of the other teams in this division. I think the Cubs are in for a long year and I'm really not feeling Milwaukee, but they could get hot and on a roll at some point during the summer. I would like it if it did come down to the Reds and Cards though, it would be cool if both teams ran away from everyone else and stayed withing 5 games of each other the rest of the way. Maybe it could be the beginning of a nice rivalry. It is early though, and the Reds have done this before, I'm just wishing for a fun summer.
    Well, I want a fun summer too. So far, things are working out, but one thing is certain. The Reds and Cardinals are not exactly running away from the rest of the division. The Reds are only 3 games ahead of Milwaukee and only 4 ahead of Pittsburgh and 4.5 ahead of the Cubs. And there are 129 games to go.

    The key to remaining in this position is to get the outfield stable and hoping Homer comes around and Leake continues. Big job and it won't be easy. And we have to remember that the Cards have the ace in the hole in Albert. I'm not ready to sign up for playoff tickets yet.

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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    Well, I want a fun summer too. So far, things are working out, but one thing is certain. The Reds and Cardinals are not exactly running away from the rest of the division. The Reds are only 3 games ahead of Milwaukee and only 4 ahead of Pittsburgh and 4.5 ahead of the Cubs. And there are 129 games to go.

    The key to remaining in this position is to get the outfield stable and hoping Homer comes around and Leake continues. Big job and it won't be easy. And we have to remember that the Cards have the ace in the hole in Albert. I'm not ready to sign up for playoff tickets yet.


    I'm not either, I'm just hoping for this. And were 5 games over .500 since the third game of the year.
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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    I think the NL Central will be a one man race, the Cardinals. Even with tonight's score of 9-0, the Reds Pythag is still sub .500. I think the Reds, Brewers, Cubs, and Pirates will all fight for 2 -5 all year. With that being said if the Reds can upgrade some offensive guys I think the Reds may have a slight advantage over the others if the pitching can stay together.

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    Quote Originally Posted by harangatang View Post
    I think the NL Central will be a one man race, the Cardinals. Even with tonight's score of 9-0, the Reds Pythag is still sub .500. I think the Reds, Brewers, Cubs, and Pirates will all fight for 2 -5 all year. With that being said if the Reds can upgrade some offensive guys I think the Reds may have a slight advantage over the others if the pitching can stay together.
    Agreed. I want to believe in our recent success, but it's not like they've done anything in the last 10 years to make me believe. The Cubs and Brewers will hover below/around .500 and the Pirates and Astros will be non-factors. The Cardinals are far ahead of the pack in not only performance but in talent.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    Using the Pythag this early might not lead to the most accurate results.

    I doubt the Reds will continue to score runs at a 4.78 runs per game average over the whole season, but I also doubt the Reds will allow 5.12 runs a game on average over the whole season.

    Likewise, I doubt that the Cardinals will score only 4.36 runs a game on average over a full season, or allow only 3.24 runs a game on average over a full season.

    None of those four numbers represent the true talent level of each team.

    I do think it's clear the Cardinals have more talent than than the Reds, but I wouldn't use the Pythag just yet to determine by how much.

    That said, I think the Reds have one advantage over the Cardinals, and that's a much deeper organization. For the first time in 10-15 years, the Reds have a better ability to improve over the season, either by minor leaguers like Heisey coming up and producing or by trading the minor leaguers for real major league talent. The Cardinals can only realistically dumpster dive at the trading deadline, they have very little in the farm system of value right now.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    Using the Pythag this early might not lead to the most accurate results.

    I doubt the Reds will continue to score runs at a 4.78 runs per game average over the whole season, but I also doubt the Reds will allow 5.12 runs a game on average over the whole season.

    Likewise, I doubt that the Cardinals will score only 4.36 runs a game on average over a full season, or allow only 3.24 runs a game on average over a full season.

    None of those four numbers represent the true talent level of each team.

    I do think it's clear the Cardinals have more talent than than the Reds, but I wouldn't use the Pythag just yet to determine by how much.

    That said, I think the Reds have one advantage over the Cardinals, and that's a much deeper organization. For the first time in 10-15 years, the Reds have a better ability to improve over the season, either by minor leaguers like Heisey coming up and producing or by trading the minor leaguers for real major league talent. The Cardinals can only realistically dumpster dive at the trading deadline, they have very little in the farm system of value right now.
    can't the Cards acquire players by taking on their salaries? ie they give up junk but get a decent player because the selling team needs to shed payroll.
    the Reds can't do this unless Bob C decides to up the payroll, something he didn't do last offseason.
    .

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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    The Cards have a decent payroll, probably around 90 million, but they did just sign Holliday to a huge contract and Albert is due to get a new contract here soon so I doubt they can take on too much salary.
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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    Quote Originally Posted by BearcatShane View Post
    The Cards have a decent payroll, probably around 90 million, but they did just sign Holliday to a huge contract and Albert is due to get a new contract here soon so I doubt they can take on too much salary.
    They are at just a tad over $94M right now, which is where they would like to be. I believe I read they could go close to $100M if they had to, but really don't want to, considering the declining attendance this year. That could fill a hole, but probably not bring in a real difference maker.

    The Reds are in a similar bind payroll wise, but do get some relief next season, which might make it easier to absorb some payroll for the last few months of the season. But just like the Cardinals, they really don't have the payflex of bringing in a difference maker, unless they shed some payroll as well.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    Quote Originally Posted by BearcatShane View Post
    I would like it if it did come down to the Reds and Cards though, it would be cool if both teams ran away from everyone else and stayed withing 5 games of each other the rest of the way.
    I rather have the Reds run away with it all summer.

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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    This thread feels too giddy by about 1000%.

    Course, it is fun breathing in the giddiness for a change.

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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    And we have to remember that the Cards have the ace in the hole in Albert. I'm not ready to sign up for playoff tickets yet.
    Can he pitch?

    Albert Pujols will go down in history as one of the greatest offensive players of all time. But right now, this season, he's been matched by Joey Votto. I'd say the position of 1B is nearly a push between the two, with maybe a slight edge to Pujols.

    It's the other positions where the Cardinals are excelling. CF, LF specifically. 3B is a push between Freese and Rolen. 2B in a landslide for the Reds, C too. But the offense from CF and LF for the Cards is light years better than it has been for the Reds this year.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    Win every game and let what happens happen.

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    I think the Reds are the team with the best shot of playing with the Cards this season. The Pirates and the Astro's are going to battle it out for the last spot in the division. The Cubs have their best pitcher in the pen, an aging roster, and issues throughout their entire roster, and the Brewers can hit, but can they pitch. I guess the Reds have fewer questions than any other team in the Central. I think there are a couple of factors that can go a long way in deciding if the Reds can play, or even eclipse the Cards.

    -Injuries. Can the Cards survive without Pujols? Can the Reds survive without Votto? Does Carpenter's are hold itself together for another year? Injuries are often overlooked when discussing a topic like this. Teams look good now, but if a key players goes down the team looks completely different.

    -Trades. I look back to the Astro's of a few years ago when they rolled the dice early and traded for Beltran. He was the springboard that shot the Astro's towards the playoffs. Does Walt make an early move? Do the Cards make an early move?

    -In house impact player. Does someone come from inside the organization to provide a huge impact? Does a player put together a career year? I don't know enough about the Card's farm system to know if they have any candidates.

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    Re: Could N.L. Central become a two team race?

    The Brewers definitely have some serious questions concerning their pitching. As do the Reds.

    I suspect the Reds and Brewers will spend their time beating up on each other, jockeying for second place, while the Cards with their pitching, pull away. Reds and Brewers are definitely second (potentially third)-tier teams.

    Padres are probably the most likely candidate to surprise this season. They've got the pitching and the park to keep the ball in the yard.


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