Who would have thought the Central would boast the best three teams in the NL? Could the Pittsburgh Pirates finally have a winning season? This will be one of the most exciting second halves for the NL. Here are the power rankings at the start of the second half.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
Is there a weakness on this team? No. The NL is theirs to lose. They are not slowing down and even if the Pirates keep up their hot streak they will not be able to catch the Cardinals.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
Wow. But will it be another horrible second half? I know some Pirates fans are remaining cautious, but it is hard not to be excited. Their pitching is spectacular. Francisco Liriano is on an amazing hot streak. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games, but I do not think it is cause to worry unless they can pick up their offense. Something tells me they will.
3. Cincinnati Reds
They are slipping a tad, but it is hard to tell with their record. Actually, their record would be great if they were not in the NL Central. They just took the series between the Pirates, but they are still behind them by three games and five behind the Cardinals.
4. Atlanta Braves
The Braves have been on a downfall, but luckily for them the teams behind them are losing even more. Injuries are slowly taking out their stars, but it should not be too much of a worry since they are 6.5 games ahead of the Phillies. The Phillies and the Washington Nationals are not showing any signs of being threats. This will allow the starters to recover and not put too much pressure on the replacements.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks/Los Angeles Dodgers
I could not choose between them. The Dodgers have been better in the last 10 games and have been one of the hottest teams in baseball over the last month now that they are getting healthy, but the fact is the Diamondbacks are still a half game ahead.
Teams To Watch:
Series To Watch
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals
Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds vs. LA Dodgers