Okay. The NL Central is a two horse race. We both have horses in this fight, but the fact is, only the numbers can break this down. And we are going to find out who the better team is.
But first, the ratings scale.
5- So good that you don’t have a complaint.
4-Good, but there are reasons to think they could be better.
3- Reasonably okay. Not great, but you don’t mind their presence.
2- There are definite weaknesses, but they do show skills.
1- Easily replacable.
There will be decimals given. And yet there will also be love to mine enemies as well. But we start at…
Brewers: Johnny Estrada is the epitome of the 3. He’s okay. He’s pretty good on defense. He’s not bad as a hitter. (.283, which is positionally good). But if Brian McCann or Russell Martin came available straight up, the Brewers would jump on that.
Damian Miller was the epitome of average as a starter and if you compare OPS with Estrada…(.714 to .722) they do compare favorably. I give Miller a 2.5 if only because he’s slumping in July, and exposure might drop him to a two.
Brewers Catchers 5.5
Cubs: Jason Kendall’s done. He’s past done. He is Henry Blanco without the defensive skill. He is a 1 and may God have mercy on his soul.
Koyie Hill’s offensive line? (.163/.233/.288) If that’s anything other than a 1? I am not a fat man.
Cubs Catchers: 2
Brewers: Prince Fielder’s still the putative NL MVP, despite a recent power outage. The numbers are still great, but if this keeps up, there will start to be a real worry that he got Abreu’d at the home run derby. I will be nice and call it a 4.5.
Brewers Total so far: 10 (4.5)
Cubs: Derrek Lee is not hitting home runs. 11 so far. But with a .331 average, a .931 OPS, and reasonably good defense? This is the man you want. He is a 4. Good solid 4.
Cubs total so far: 6 (4)
Brewers: Rickie Weeks is physically very skilled. The problem is, he keeps getting injured. And he fell into bad habits. He’s hitting .212. The only reason he gets a 2 is because he has speed, and speed does not dilute if you cannot hit for average.
Tony Graffanino also gets a 2. He’s got pop and a decent level of defense at several positions. He has shown good stretch run potential, but he’s a two. That’s all you need to know.
Brewers Total: 14 (4)
Cubs: Mark DeRosa has culled himself a half-decent career. And this year, he’s also having himself a +800 OPS season of offense, which isn’t bad for third base in the injury replacement as well. Mark DeRosa gets an overpaid 3.
And Mike Fontenot might even be a little better. He’s been an offensive sparkplug off the bench. (.309/.348/.463). He’s also tiny and lefthanded. He’s a three, if only because the small sample size.
Cubs Total: 12 (6)
Brewers: J.J. Hardy has been awful over the past two months. As in, what once was a five has dropped to a 3. He doesn’t suck, but he really aught to get the old average above .280-.290 before he gets back above a 3.
Craig Counsell has always been a 2. He figured, why stop now?
Brewers total so far: 19 (5)
Cubs: Ryan Theriot has developed a cult following amongst Cubs fans. After all, a judicious use of the space and he becomes The Riot. But a .706 OPS is not bueno, even with 18 steals and a great percentage. I cannot give him, in good consicence, more than a 3.
Ronny Cedeno. Look at his stats. Let the small sample size wash over you. He is going to be a 1. He won’t vault to a 4, either.
Cubs Total: 16 (4)
Brewers: Offensively, at present. Ryan Braun is a god, not a man. Quite frankly, it’s a 7 out of 5. His defense is a three out of five. But Ryan Braun is a baseball warrior. And he has a lot on his back. 5…out of 5.
Brewers total: 24 (5)
Cubs: Aramis Ramirez is a good third baseman. He’s having a good, if not injury prone year. The problem is, he’s always been better post all-star break. Yeah, it’s not for the Cubs fans, but the 4 I’m about to bestow could become a five at any minute.
Cubs Total: 20 (4)
Okay, so the Brewers have a better infield. But it is subject to change. There could be a swing at the corners. But then again, the other areas could go to the Cubs.
You’re just going to have to watch for more.