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UCB Predictions, Part III: NL Central

Posted on March 31, 2010 at 10:24 AM
Filed Under: United Cardinal Bloggers
Now we get down to brass tacks.  The NL Central is the division that we'll be watching on a daily basis, the division that we should know the best.  I feel pretty confident about the top slot and, really, that's all that matters, right?


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1. St. Louis

Pujols. Holliday. Carpenter. Wainwright. Rasmus. Molina. Ludwick.

If Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse hit reasonable expectations and Ryan Franklin doesn't completely blow up, the division could be over by mid-August.

2. Cincinnati

Regular readers of the blog know I have a soft spot for the Reds, but I do believe they'll make a run this year.  They've got the inverse of their regular issues, as they may have more pitching (though they'll miss Volquez) than they do hitting.  It's a good young team, though, and I expect they'll be able to beat out the rest of a weak division.

3. Chicago


It's the Cubs, so we can't give a whole lot of credit to them, right?  I think the pitching is shaky, especially since you don't know what you'll get out of Carlos Zambrano.  Ted Lilly on the DL to start the season doesn't help matters either.  The offense should get a bit of a boost with Marlon Byrd, but there are still holes.

4. Milwaukee


Besides Yovani Gallardo, where's the pitching?  Randy Wolf is nice, and likely will bedevil the Cardinals when they face him, but other than that, it could be a race between who puts up more run, the Prince Fielder/Ryan Braun offense or the pitching staff.

5. Pittsburgh

The youth movement pays dividends.  The pitching is solid--not great, but can keep the Pirates in games.  The offense has potential up and down the line, especially when Pedro Alverez gets the call up.  Garrett Jones (who may be a fluke, maybe not) and Andrew McCutchen had great rookie seasons and should be able to bring some danger to the lineup, along with Lastings Milledge.  Pittsburgh will break .500 again.  Just not this year.

6. Houston

Lance Berkman won't be ready for opening day.  Their ace has to prove last year wasn't a fluke.  You've got Roy Oswalt (that ace) and Wandy Rodriguez in the rotation, but after that....  You've got Hunter Pence and a declining Carlos Lee in the lineup, but after that.....  Looks like a long season for the Astros.

Tomorrow, we'll hit the NL West with as much depth and clarity as we have the rest of the picks.


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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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