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MLB Standings Update: NL Central Edition

In this update, we'll look at the National League Central standings to this point in the season.

The St. Louis Cardinals have opened up a little bit of a lead over second-place Cincinnati with a 22-16 record. Cincy is a game and a half back at 20-17 while the PIttsburgh Pirates are a surprising third place at 18-19. The Cubs are in fourth at 16-20 while the Milwaukee Brewers find themselves in a tail spin despite having ace Zack Greinke back in the rotation at 16-21 and in fifth place. The Brewers have gone 3-7 in their last 10 and a division-worst 7-13 in their last 20. Houston brings up the rear at 14-23, having gone 4-6 in their last 10.

Of all six teams, the Astros are the only one with a perfectly reflected Pythagorean record. Based on their runs scored and runs allowed, Houston should have a 14-23 record. The team outperforming their Pythag record the most is Pittsburgh, which should be at 16-21. St. Louis is the unluckiest team in the division, having a Pythag record of 24-14. 

While the Astros used a great record against other NL Central teams last season to power its second-half surge, this season it's Cincinnati who's been owning the rest of the division. The Reds have a 15-10 record against its division opponents, while only Pittsburgh and St. Louis has above .500 records against the NL Central at 9-6. The Astros are have the worst in-division record at 9-15.

The other quirk is that only three teams have positive home records at this point. MIlwaukee has the best home record at 10-6 while St. Louis and Cincinnati are both 10-9. The Brewers have been even worse on the road, though, winning just 6 of 15 games on the road. St. Louis has been the most successful away from home with a 12-7 record.

If there is a surprise here, it's that Houston, despite its bad bullpen, has the best record in the division in one-run games at 7-6. None of the other teams in the Central have above .500 records in one-run games. If there is an argument that the Cards will continue to hold that top spot, it's here, because the Cardinals are just 3-8 in one-run games, which should improve. Also, the Reds will have to start playing much better to catch the Cardinals, considering they have played just six games against teams with an above .500 record and are just 2-4 in those games.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.