As we continue our series covering the highs and lows of the MLB season. We look at teams moving up the rankings and others whos strategy is seemingly tanking. Take a look at last week’s MLB 3 Up and 3 Down.
1 Up: St. Louis Cardinals
The current ace of the NL Central is that of the St Louis Cardinals. The Cards have been playing stellar baseball as of late going 8-2 over their last ten games. And when you add in the +35 run differential this Cardinals team is firing on all cylinders. It’s a tough division as the Chicago Cubs are only a couple games behind the Red Birds. And that should be expected at the top of this division all season long.
1 Down: Pittsburgh Pirates
Towards the bottom of that same NL Central Division lies the Pittsburgh Pirates. And for as well as the Cardinals have been playing the exact opposite has been the case for the Buccos. The Pirates have struggled over the last few weeks. It was just one week ago that this same team found its place on this list for their poor performance. And since then they have tumbled further down the rankings. Over their last ten games, the Pirates are 2-8 with a -17 run differential.
2 Up: Minnesota Twins
The AL Central was projected to be the weakest division in MLB this season. As three teams in the division are considered to be rebuilding ballclubs. One team that is looking to compete and is playing with a fire is the Minnesota Twins. Everyone projected the Cleveland Indians to win the division. (Including us, I second-guessed my initial prediction.) But the Twins are playing with the utmost confidence, and it shows. Over their last ten games, the Twinkies are 7-3 with a +27 run differential. Minnesota has been playing very good baseball and should remain in the hunt in the AL Central all season.
2 Down: Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals lost a key asset in their lineup this offseason when they choose the path that didn’t end up with Bryce Harper. The Nats would retool their lineup and diversify. Washington would refocus on pitching and an overall lineup attack. But to this point in the season, it has not worked out well. As over their last ten games, the Nats are 3-7 and have dropped to -5 in the run differential department. If the Nationals are looking to reclaim their throne atop the NL East, they will have to turn the tide.
3 Up: Chicago Cubs
Another NL Central team playing strong baseball is that of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have a plethora of talented MVP caliber players in their lineup. And a starting pitching rotation built upon reliable names. This has lead to the Cubs to a 7-3 record over their last ten games. The Cubs also have the best run differential in the National League with +38. This team is lead by Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo and they will not let the NL Central division crown go easily to the St. Louis Cardinals.
3 Down: Oakland Athletics
A team that surprised the world in 2018 with 97 wins has fallen on hard times. The Oakland A’s have dropped to a 14-19 record to start the season. And over the last ten games, the A’s are 3-7 with a -16 run differential. Oakland has a similar ballclub to 2018 but has not found the same success.
B.O.L.O: Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a very strong 2018 MLB campaign. And the start of 2019 has been even better to them as they have a 20-11 record. Tampa Bay has been the recipients of good pitching and defense. And they find themselves in the top spot of the AL East. This is a ballclub that is not looking to relinquish control of the division. And the Rays should be seen as a threat all season long.