MLB has two divisions that are clearly above others in terms of quality and competitive teams: the AL East and the NL West.
The AL East has the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Boston Red Sox all projected to make the playoffs as things stand.
The NL West has the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Diego Padres, and the San Francisco Giants.
The NL Central, on the other hand, has two second-tier teams in the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals if we agree that the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Houston Astros and the New York Mets are the truly elite squads today.
After those two organizations, the rest of the division is mediocre: the Chicago Cubs, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Cincinnati Reds aren’t expected to contend at this point.
A Rough Collective Patch
Not only is the division one of the weakest together with the AL Central (and perhaps the NL East), but it’s currently going through a tough stretch of games.
“The NL Central has lost 17 consecutive games, but the streak is guaranteed to end tonight since two of the NL Central teams, the Reds and #STLCards play each other,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted on Friday.
The NL Central has lost 17 consecutive games, but the streak is guaranteed to end tonight since two of the NL Central teams, the Reds and #STLCards play each other.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 10, 2022
The 33-26 Brewers are slightly ahead of the 32-26 Cardinals.
After that, there is a huge gap: the next best team, the Pirates, are seven games below .500, at 24-31.
The 23-33 Cubs and the 20-37 Reds have been bad to this point.
Between the five teams, they have lost their last 17 games, which is a reflection of the state of the division.
The Brewers and Cardinals are competitive, but beatable; and the rest of the teams are bad.