Wednesday, March 7, 2012

10 Stats You Probably Didn't Know: NL Central

-Corey Hart, one of the more underrated players in the game, has slugged at least 20 home runs in four of his last five seasons.  If he can stay healthy this year, he should clear 30.
-Rotation-mates Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum posted nearly identical ERAs for the Brewers last year, with Yoga edging out Marcum 3.52 to 3.54
-35 year-old Lance Berkman outproduced teammates Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in all three triple slash stats last year.  Give yourself a big pat on the back if you saw that one coming.
-The St. Louis Cardinals won 90 games and went on to win the World Series.  The Boston Red Sox won 90 games and didn't make the playoffs.
-More growing pains for Drew Stubbs, who piled up a major league leading 205 strikeouts last season, putting him in third place for most whiffs in a single season by a batter behind he 2009 and 2010 versions of Mark Reynolds.  At least Reynolds averaged 38 home runs during those two seasons; Stubbs finished with just fifteen.
-Cincinatti ace Johnny Cueto posted a microscopic 2.31 ERA which, if he had qualified for the ERA title, would have placed him second behind Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw's 2.28 mark.  Cueto has trimmed his ERA in three straight seasons since debuting in 2008.
-Andrew McCutchen hit 23 home runs and stole 23 bases in 2011.  The 25 year-old is poised to break out and could threaten 30/30 this year.
-You could make the case that Joel Hanrahan (40 saves, 1.83 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) was baseball's best closer last year, superior to Mariano Rivera, Jose Valverde and all the rest.  Unfortunately he plays for Pittsburgh, so only the people that had him on their fantasy teams have actually heard of him.
-Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez both whacked 26 home runs for the Cubbies last year.  Soriano is 36 and always seems to miss time with injuries but has blasted at least 20 dingers in ten straight years now.  A-Ram has eclipsed 20 nine times since 2001.
-Closer Mark Melancon won more games (eight) for the Astros last year than starting pitchers Brett Myers (seven), Bud Norris (six), and J.A. Happ (six).

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