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Post: Cubs,Cards,Brew
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Sun-30-Jul-2017 Posted by Mike Cubs,Cards,Brew
The central division is still fairly tight at the end of July. The Cubs are 2.5 games ahead of the Brewers. Unlike the other months, the Cubs won 2 games for every 1 game lost in July. In this post, I'm just going to ignore the Pirates and Reds. Pirates are technically still in the race, but I don't believe they can pull out of the hole.
Today`s Season standings:
Team  W   L     pct   GB  
CHC   56  48   .538   -   
MIL   55  52   .514   2.5 
STL   52  53   .495   4.5 

So the Cubs look like they have turned it around with a really strong month. What has changed?

The biggest improvement was starting pitching. The Cubs giving up 1st-inning-runs issue became nonexistent. (see older posts)

Contreras and Schwarber have made the right offensive adjustments at the plate.
Because of these facts, the July record shows a huge improvement:
July record:
Team  W   L    
CHC   16  8  
STL   14  14 
MIL   12  13 

Additionally, the Cubs and the Brewers are just out slugging the Cardinals.
In a previous posts, I also talked about runs and the lack of them for the Cubs. On July 22, I complied these number:

- The Cardinals total-to-year-runs: 438
- The Cubs total-to-year-runs: 447
- The Brewers total-to-year-runs: 475

Today on July 30th.
The Cardinals: 469 [+31 runs] 
The Cubs: 484      [+37 runs]
The Brewers: 507   [+32 runs] 
So the Cubs have not only kept up, but scraped a few more that the only two teams. The numbers below illustrate how the Cardinals have struggled compared to the two teams in front of them.
Top players by Hits (>80) per team for season:
Player     Team  Hits  Rank
Shaw       MIL   105   1
Santana    MIL   101   2
Bryant     CHC   99    3
Arcia      MIL   97    4
Rizzo      CHC   96    5   
Gyorko     STL   91
Molina     STL   91
Carpenter  STL   88
Perez      MIL   84
Thames     MIL   82
Contreras  CHC   82
Pham       STL   82

Top players by Home Runs (>14) per team for season:
Player     Team  HRs   Rank
Rizzo      CHC   24    1
Shaw       MIL   24
Thames     MIL   24
Bryant     CHC   20    2
Santana    MIL   18    3 
Schwarber  CHC   17    4
Contreras  CHC   16    5
Broxton    MIL   14
Carpenter  STL   14
DeJong     STL   14
Fowler     STL   14
Gyorko     STL   14
Pham       STL   14

I will be at Wrigley Tuesday night as the Cubs Start August against a tough team, the D-backs.

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