Sunday, March 16, 2008

'08 RAPs: NL Central

Many say it is the worst division in baseball. I personally am inclined to agree. However, it is also a very deep division, in which the Pirates are the only horrible team. Anyway, it was an exciting division this year; culminating in the emergence of the Chicago Cubs and their new concept of spending money. Here's the rundown:

On May first, the Brew Crew was in first place, 4 ahead of the Reds and Pirates, 6 ahead of fourth place Chicago, and 6.5 ahead of Houston and the defending champion, St. Louis.
On June first, Milwaukee was starting to run away. They had a 6.5 game lead on second place St. Louis, a 7.5 game lead on Chicago and Pittsburgh, an 8.5 game lead on fifth place Houston, and a 9.5 game lead on last place Cincinnati.
On July first, the Brewers still had a commanding 6.5 game lead; however, it was now over Chicago. St. Louis was the only other team within 10 games at 9.5 back.
At the break, Chicago was 4.5 games back and the Cards were 7.5 back, in third place.
On August first, Chicago and Milwaukee were tied for first with third place St. Louis 6 back.
On September first, Chicago was in full possession of first place with the Brewers 1.5 back and St. Louis 2 games back.
Two weeks later, St. Louis dropped to third place and 6 games out (out of the race) following the Rick Ankiel HGH revelation. Chicago was still in first, one game ahead of Milwaukee.
A week later, on the 22nd, Chicago had pushed Milwaukee 2.5 back. The Brewers post-season aspirations were now on life support.
Chicago clinched the division on the 28th despite only being 3 ahead of Milwaukee at the time and only having a 84-76 record.

That was an exciting division. It should not be as weak this year as in the previous years. Anyway, here are the final standings for your 2007 NL Central Division:
1. Cubs: 85-77
2. Brewers: 83-79 (2 GB)
3. Cardinals: 78-84 (7 GB)
4. Astros: 73-89 (12 GB)
5. Reds: 72-90 (13 GB)
6. Pirates: 68-94 (17 GB)

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